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HY W. H. MEDHURST, sen. 




The following Dissertation, as t!ie title imports, T^a^ 
written with the view of elucidating the views of the 
Chinese on the subject of theology, ii order to ena- 
ble Christian writers, and translators of the Scriptures, 
to ascertain what would be the best ter»n by which to 
express the name of. God, in (Chinese. To set the 
que&tion in a true light, it was thought necessary to re- 
fer to the classical writings, and es[)t:cially those of the. 
Confucian school ; because these always have, and still 
do, exercise the greatest influence over the mind of 
China ; and notwithstanding the addition:^ of foreign 
religions, and (in the estimation of the Literati) here- 
tical notions, the classics must and will form the basis 
of thought and expression throi^ghont China for ages 
to come. This method of conducting the argument 
has necessarily drawn attention to the identical opini- 
ons of Chinese philosophers ; and thus, independent of 
the discussion which called for the present essay^ much 
is brought forward that will no doubt be interesting to 
the public in general, particularly to those who are en- 
quiring into the opinions and religious sentiments of so 
peculiar a people as the Chinese. Having been led to 
explain and discuss all the passages of their classics 
which bear on the subject of spiritual and invisible 
beings, as well as thoiie which refer to the Supreme 
God, in their estimation, the writer has been enabled 
to present to view the whole body of Chinese J heology ; 
and those who wish to acquaint themselves with the 
standard and orthodox religion of China, will find in 


these pages enou<jh to gratify their curiosity and to 
assist them in forming a judgment. It will be seen 
that the Confucian age, though addicted to pneumato- 
latry, or the worship of spirits, was tolerably free from 
idolatry, or the adoration of images ; while the classical 
writings then published contain variotis references to the 
Supreme Being, as far as they were acquainted with 
him, of whose attributes and perfections a tolerably 
complete scheme may be drawn up, showing that the 
ancient Chinese were not entirely ignorant of what is 
called natural theology. Of course their scheme will be 
found defective in every thing that is peculiar to revela- 
tion; and defective as it originally was, it has been still 
more corrupted by the admixture of superstitions through 
the lapse ages ; but ascribe it to what source we may, 
there we find the fundamental truths of natural religion, 
fully equal to what the Grecian or Roman sages indited, 
and sufficient to testify that God has not left himself 
without witness in this eastern world; because *' that 
which may be known of God is manifest in them ; for 
God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible 
things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly 
seen, being understood by the things that are made, 
even his eternal power and godhead ; so that they are 
without excuse. Because that when they knew God, 
they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful ; 
but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish 
heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be 
wise they became fools ; and changed the glory of the 
uncorruptible God, into an image made like to corrupti- 
ble man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and 
creeping things ; changing the truth of God into a lie, 
and worsihipping and serving the creature more than 
the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." 






In translating the Sacred Scriptures, into the lan- 
guage of China, it is necessary for the translator to 
place himself in the position of a native of that coun- 
try, and to endeavour to ascertain how a Chinese would 
think and feel with regard to expressions in use among 
his countrymen. For it is <evident, that the very best 
translation of a book into the language of any country 
would be o' e made by a native of that country, suppos- 
ing him to be well acquainted with the language from 
which he is translating, and the subject on which it 
'treats ; the next best translation that could be made 
would be one prepared by a foreigner, the most fami- 
liar with the teims and idioms of the language into 
which he is translating ; all other qnalifications being 
supposed to be equal, or nearly so. In a language like 
that of China, possessing a varied aspect, ancient and 
modern, concise and colloquial, it is necessary for a 
translator to aquaint himself with the original uses of 
terms, as well as the changes which they haye under- 
gone ; to know how they are used in philosophical wri- 
tings, and in every- day conversation ; what they mean 
when used by one class of religionists, and what when 
employed by another ; as well as all the phases which 
any given expression may be made to assume, according 
to the points of view in which it is contemplated. 

In the following pages, we shall endeavour to point 
out the meanings, attached by the Chinese themselves, 
to the different expressions, that have been employed 
by Protestant Christians, for the purpose of expressing 

the Deity. In order to this, we shall commence with 
the writings ol their dictionaries and standard philoso- 
phers, and then fiance at the modifications wiiich the 
language has sustained through the admixture of hete- 
rodox opirions, in order to ascertain what is the current 
acceptation of the terms in question. 

Our first enquiry shall he regarding the real mean- 
ing of the term j|($ Shin, which some of the early Roman 
Catholic, and first Protestant writers imagined equiva- 
lant to the word God, in western languages. 

Kang-he, in his Dictionary, after giving the sound 
of jjj^ shin, does not, as is usual with him, go on to ex- 
press the sense, by adducing a synonymous term, l)ut 
quotes a phrase from the |^ ^ Shwo w^n, in which 
the word ^ shin occurs The phrase is this : ^ |l|j 

§1 til ^^^-tfi t'^^^^" s^in yin ch'huh wan wiih 
rhay yay. In order, therefore, to understand the term 
in question, we must endeavour to ascertain what is tlie 
meaning of the ahove sentence in which it is found, 
and the purpose for which it is there employed. The 
sentence treats of the leading out of all things, and says, 
thn.t 5^^t'htjen Rfiin does- this. Here the ^ |^ 
fheen shin, is j:ontiasted with the J|^ ijif^ te k'he, also 
called the ijjif !fll|] tesliin, wliich w(- hnd. by referring 
to the character j^l^ k'he, i^ tfi ^^ # {^L is that 
which brings uj) ail thinit'^ Both these agaui are as- 
sociated ^^ilh the X IE J'" kwei, according to the 
Chinese system of cosrr'iogony, which sets forth the 
three powers of nature as ^ i^ \ t'heen te jin, hea- 
ven, earth, and man ; end according to the ^ ^ (!how 
le, which savs, " ^ ^ # Jlfe lf(K A. H ^ 
that which belongs to heaven is called f^ shin, that 
which belongs to earth is called jj|^ k'he, and that 
which belongs to men is called ^ Kwei. Now we 
are pretty well informed by Chinese authors, what the 
^ kwei is^, as referred to man, and from this we may 
be able to form some idea of the fi^ shin and f^ k'he, 
as referred to heaven and earth. In the definition of 


^kwei, the Chinese employ another term, nearly si- 
milar in sound, as in the explanation of |J Shin ; thus 
they say, ^ kwei, is ^ kvvei, to revert; as |^ shin^ 
is ^ shin, to expand. The ^ kwei or f]^ pfh in 
man, is the anima or grosser part of his spiritual nature, 
which shrinks, shrivels up, and reverts at death to its 
original elements, and sinks to earth ; while the |^ 
shin or s^ hwan, is the soul or more subtile pait of 
his spiritual nature, which expands, diffuses itself and 
wanders about in space. 

From this it would appear, that jji^ Shin and ^ 
Kwei, are terms equivalent to spirit and anima, in the 
human system. In conformity with which we would 
render the sentence first quoted from Kang-he, thus : 
*''lhe expanding spirit of Heaven is that vrhich leads 
out all things. That we are not mistaken in this 
translation, is evident from what follows, is the same 
sentence, where the lexicographer goes on to say, ^ 
?P m ^ *^ expand, (taking the primitive of the char, 
acter |]j^ Shin to indicate its general sense), means to 

lead forth ;for5^3g!^^KM^i/ beaven 
manaujes o^ directs the sendii/g down of the k'he or 

breath of nature to influence all things, ^JC^ ^l ffi 
^ J^ therefore it is said, to lead forth all things, in 
this detinition of jf|lp shin, which constitutes the first 
class of meanings to which the lexicographer refers, we 
are not to suppose that Shin is the primary power that 
moves and expands the heavens, but the spirit employed 
by Heaven in expanding all things.^ It is Heaven that 
sends down its ^ breath or spirit to influence or lead 
forth all things, and Shin is the spirit this employed. 
We now pass on to the second definition of |\]^ shin, 
given in the Imperial Dictionary, as follows : ^ ^ jfp^ 

^^0 \^#I$-^B t'heen che shin tse boo 
jih, jin che shin tse boo muh ; where we suppose the 
writer by the word jfi^ shin to mean, *' animal spirits, 
animation or vivacity," and would render the passage 
thus, " the spirit or vivacity of heaven dwells in the 



sun, as the spirit or vivacity of a man rests in the eye ;" 
from which we understand the writer to mean, that, 
as by the vivacity or dulness of the eye, we perceive 
the elasticity or depression of men's spirits, so, by the 
shining or withdrawing of the sun, we ascertain the 
expansion or contraction of the spirit of nature. 

The third class of definitions given in Kang-he, to 
jji$ shin, is that of jjit^ ^ shin ming, inscrutably in- 
telligent and clear, in elucidating which he quotes 
the ^ ^ Shoo-king, where ^ Yaou is said 75 ^ 
75 fl^ to be sagelike and inscrutably intelligent. The 
Commentator on this passage says, that speaking of 
his greatness and capability of reforming mankind, he 
is called sagelike ; and speaking of his sagelike quali- 
ties, and of his being above common apprehension, he 
is called inscrutably intelligent. The lexicographer then 
quotes another work, saying that ^ M B'f "J^ aS 1$ 
k^J ^'^ sagelike means understanding every thing, 
inscrutably mysterious, and not to be calculated on. 
Under the same head, Kang-he quotes another pas- 
sage, from the J^ ^ Yth-king, to the effect that P^ 
^ ^ JS'l ^ si W whatever is inscrutable in the 
male and female principle of nature is called |^ shin. 
By the inscrutable here mentioned, however, is not 
meant that which is mysterious in the ways of Provi- 
dence, or above human comprehension in the Divine 
procedure, but such things as are not distinctly refer- 
able either to the male or female principles of nature, 
seeming to be a mixture of both ; as the Commentator 

says, j^^^m n^mnMr-^u^m 

when things are settled to one point they may be scru- 
tinized, and that which may be scrutinized is not worthy 
to be denominated jjjl|j inscrutt^ble. Further he quotes 
another wo^, sayinp: #{ft^# ^ft:^^.#^ 

•!^ ffff ^' W » ^ RJ JW ^ Ir » ^"^^^^ which is inscrutar 
bleis the utmost point of change, it may be said to be 
more mysterious than all surrounding objects, and 
cannot be judged of by visilde appearances. Under 
this head, the compiler of the Dictionary gives another 

quotation frrvm ^ ^ Mencius, stating that ^ Jfff ^ 
T^r ^M '^ ^ ©I' sagelike and not to be comprehended 
by others, is called inscrutably intelligent, in this 
connection, the writer is describing the different steps 
of attainment in virtue, such as ^ good, ^ sincere, 
^ excellent, -jf^Q^ great, ^ sagelike, and |f(^ inscruta- 
ble ; the latter of which, however, is not to be consi- 
dered a step in advance of the one preceding it, hut 
only a new feature of it. The Commentator on this 
passage says, that "sagelike and incomprebensible is 
the most mysterious quality of a sage, that which peo- 
ple cannot fathom. It does not mean that above the 
sagelike individual, there is another class of men who 
may be called the inscrutably intelligent." In all this 
we do not see anything necessarily divine ; the in- 
scrutable in nature, according to Chinese ideas, is the 
mysterious departure from the usual order of things, 
but still that which nature produces, thouiih out of its 
usual course ; and the inscrutable in human beings 
is the height of intelligence, but still that which man 
is capahle of, and therefore not superhuman. 

In the next detinition of jjj^ Shin, given in the Dic- 
tionary, we meet with ^ ||^ kwei shin, under which 

the writer says, B f^ 3 fS fil^A ^ % ^^^^ ^^^^ 
of the male or superior principle of nature is called 
1^ shin, and the anima of the female or inferior prin- 
ciple of nature is called J^ kwei ; again, lest we 
should suppose that anything really divine is intended 
by the 3I hwan and fi^ pih, he says, Mt.WM^ 
Ifl^ )S ^ ^ ^M. ^^^^ expanding quality of the breath 
or spirit of nature is the Jfi^ shin, and its contracting 
quality the j^ kwci 

The compiler of the Dictionary goes on to give the 
meaning of ^^ shin, as found in epitaphs and posthu- 
mous titles, saying, that in such acceptance that which 
the people can find no proper name for is called jjj^ 
shin ; hence EE S^ He-ning, of the ^ Sung, dynasty, 
and ^ ^ Wan-lei'h, of the H^ Ming dynasty, were 
both called f\^ ^ Shin tsuug ; not, it would appear, on 


account of their good qualities, for they were bad rulers ; 
but because their descendants, in giving them posthu- 
mous honours, did not know how' rightly to denominate 
them, and therefore called them by the above title. 
^\^ Shin is also used as a surname. And when the 
sound is altered from Shin to Shin it is the proper name 
of a spirit of the sea, as in the sentence quoted in the 
Dictionary, |$ ^ gl] ^ shin shoo too yen, '' may Shin 
and Shoo aid yoii." 

The remainder of the article in Kang-he on the word 
iji$ shin has merely rt^terence to the ditferent sounds 
which are given to the character to make it rhyme in 

From all this we do u«»t perceive that Shin conveys 
the idea of anything more than spirit, spiritual, or mys- 
teriously intelligent. Let us now endeavour to ascer- 
tain in what sense it is used in the classical writings of 
the Chinese. In the PJ^ ]^ Chung-yung, Happy Me- 
dium, the compilation of which is ascribed to one of 
the immediate di:?ciples of Confucius, and in which 
th.j '.vords of the sage are frequently quoted, we find 
a whole chipicr on the subject of the ^f^ kwei shin, 
as follows : 

In the first section, *'Confucius said, How widely-cx- 
tended are the actings out of the ^ jji^ kwei shin !" 

The Commentator Chinu'-tsze, tells U9,t]iat the j^jJpP kwei shin are 
the energetic operations of heaven and earth, and the traces of pro- 
duction and transformation, (or the exhibitions of nature's efforts in 
bringing forth and changing the forms of things.) The Commentator 

Chang-tszesays, that the/gj jSt '^^^'^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ easily acting powers 
of the two breaths of nature ; upon which Choo-foo-tsze remarks : 

If you view them in the light of two breaths or spirits, then J/|a kwei 

is the spiritual part of the female principle, and jfl^ shin, the spiri- 
tual part of the male principle ; but if you consider them as but one 

breath or spirit, then that which advances and expands is ifl^ shin, 
and that which returns and reverts is ^> kwei ; in fact they consti- 
tute but one ^ wuh, thing. On the expression ^ ^ wei tih, 
actings out, Choo remarks, that it is the same as to say, their nature 
and results. The phraphrase on this section runs thus ; " Tsze-sze, 
(the compiler of the Chung-yung, or Happy Medium,) quotes here 

what Confucius says of the Kwei Shin, to show that the ^ taou, or 

principle of reason, combines the ;^ diffuse and the _ 

atiil' includes both the small and the great (in nature) ; hence he says, 

That which betwixt heaven and earth, contracts and expands, ad- 

vancL's and recedes, is doubtless the ]^ breath, or spirit of the male 

and female principle of nature, and the most ^g spiritual part of that 
breath, is called the Kwei Shin. Now the actings out of the 
Kwei Shins are at the extreme limit of nothing, and yet include tlie 
highest degree of existence ; they are superlatively unsubstantial, and 
yet thoroughly most real : for they carry to the utmost the perfection 
of filling out and pervading things. 

To the paraphrase are appended some critical remarks, as follows ; 

*' The Kwei Shin arc merely |^ ^ j^ f^ "^ ^ the expanding 
audcontracting breathjof the male and female principles of nature ; and 
they arc called Kwei Shin, simply because of their subtile character 
and pervading quality. Ching-tsze, in his remarks, has alluded 
mainly to that which is visible in their dis})lay, and Chang-tsze prin- 
cipally to that which is easy or natural in their movings and actings 
out ; yet though divided into two breaths they are really but one 
breath in its revolution ; therefore Choo-foo-tsz ', considers them as 

having one ^j breath, rumiing through the whole ; if we unite the 
explanatiorjs of these three commentatorti we shall then have 
a full idea of the Kwei Shin. The actings out of the Kwei 
Shni, spoken of in the text, refer to the Kwei Shins themselves ; (the 
actings out and the Kwei Shins) are not to be divided into two. 
The word acting out is merely used with reference to the breath o^. 

nature ; and the writer does not immediately add the idea of gj^pj sin- 
cerity, to intimate that, that by which they act out is just their sincerity 
or exact compliance with nature ; their widely-extending may be seen 
in their entering into all things without exception. Choo-foo-tszc 
has said, that there is not a single thing between heaven and earth 

wliich is not Kwei Shin ; for all the first advancings t)f the ^^ breath 
of nature, belonging to the male principle, constitute Shin ; while 
all the revertings of this breath belong to the female principle, arrd 
form Kwei. Thus the day during the forenoon is Shin, and the 
afternoon Kwei ; the moon in its waxings is Shin, and ih its wanings 
Kwei ; the sun and moon, when contrasted with each other, consti- 
tute, the former Shin, and the latter Kwei : trees just budding forth 
are Shin, and when withering and drooi^ing Kwei ; man, from youth 
to manhood, is Shin, and old age and decrepitude is Kwei ; in the 
breathings of one's nostrils, the expirations are Shin, and the inspira- 
tions Kwei ; we may also say, that the anima or R/g, grosser fluid 

(in man) belongs to the Kwei, aid the^^ breath or finer spirit to the 
Shin. Human speech and action, beiHg connected with - the finer 
spirit, belong to the Shin, while the semen and blood, constituting 
the grosser fluids, belong to tlie Kwei ; indeed all cases of display 
and acting out belong to the male principle of nature, and constitute 
the Shin j while all instances of the settling of the breath or spirit, 



as they belong to the female pruiciple of nature, form tj^e Kwei. 
Knowledge is Shin, and memory is Kwei. ^ jIh ^ ^ M 
" The energetic operations of heaven and earth" are the 5^ fii /?! 
^36" traces of production and change" observable in nature ; the " JM 
^>[^" production" and " change" spoken of are the doings of hea- 
ven and earth ; 3^ " production" is the bringing of things from no- 
thing into being ; |^ " chanire" is the altering of things from being 

to non-existence.* TjJ /fl " Energetic operations" refer to the 
coming of heat and the departure of cold, the setting of the sun and 
the rising of the moon, the buddings of spring, the growings of ium- 
raer, and such like ; wind and rain, frost and dew, the sun and moon, 

day and night, these are the traces reierred to. The two J^ breaths, 

point to the ^^ gg easily-acting forces of the male and female prin- 
ciple of nature, meaning that their advancings and recedings, expand- 
ings and contractiugs, are all natural, without any express disposition 
or arrangement. The phrase "traces of production and change" refers 
to this expanding and contracting ; the expression " easily-acting 
forces of the two breaths of nature" refers to their being able to expand 
and contract. Ching-tsz^ merely speaks of the traces of tneir ex- 

pandings and contractiugs ; but Chang-tsz^ talks further of their ^g 
spirituality. This spirituality is merely the easy actings of the ad- 
vancing and receding, expanding and contracting principle, as if. it 

were alive, The exhibition of this as two^ breaths refers to the cor- 
respondency of the male and female principles of nature ; the repre- 

sentation, of it as one ;^^ breath, to the movement of those principles. 
For the two breaths of nature are really but one : speaking of 
them as one breath then, the breath just issumg forth has its expand- 
ings and its contractiugs, and this incipient expansion is the Shin of 
the Shin ; (or the expansion of the expanding principle ;) after it has 
expanded fully, it is called the Kwei of the Shin, (or the contraction 
of the expanding principle:) the contracted breath of nature, has 
still some expansion and contraction in it, but when it is fully con- 
tracted, this entire contraction is the Kwei of the Kwei, (contraction 
of the contracting principle.) Its subsequent coming forth and ad- 

* The words j^ flj tsaou hwa, here translated " production and 
change," are not to be rendered " creation and transformation ;" for 
the Chinese have no idea of creation, as we understand it ; viz. the 
bringing of this world into existence. It is true, the writer above 
quoted explains production by the bringing of something out of no- 
thing ; but by that the Chinese mean, the birth of animals, the 
springing up of plants, the advancing of the tides, or the blowing of 
the winds, where to all appearance nothing was before. They do 
not mean by it, the original formation of all things, but the constant 
production of things observable every day. 


vancing is the Shin of the Kwei, (expansion of the contracting princi- 
ple.) The ^ ^ xf^ ^ " invisible and inaudible" (of the Kwei 
and Shin) is their '^ T"^ natural constitution. Their fg ^ "^ 
•jg ** entering into in all things without exception" is the ^ >^ 

result of their operations. ^* ^X ^1 Tsae-heu-tse says, that the 
one phrase " entering into all things without exception" exhausts the 

subject : for since there really exists ^^ matter, then there really 

exists this 5Rk breath or spirit of nature : and since there exists this 

spirit, there must be the ^t fitness of things (according to which 
it is arranged ;) and that wliich fills all between heaven and earth is 
the expanding and contractinir, the advancing and receding of this 

one ^ '^^ spiritual mechanism of nature. This is that in which 
the fitness ot things consists, which is essentially inherent in all things, 
and the same throughout all time ; verifying the expression, that the 

one male and one female principle of nature constitute the aM. eternal 
reason, \^hich we ought not for a moment to lose sight of. 

We subjoin some remarks on this section, from the 5|C ^§ 

p^ ^ Pun-e-hwae-tsan. The compiler quotes the ^ |^ 
\u-luy, which brings forward the enquiry, as to what is 
meant by the Kwei Shin's being the energetic operations and 
easily-aciing foices of nature ; and then suggests the reply, 
that this is merely viewing them as a succession of contract- 
ings and expandings : at one expanding, then there are 
produced a great number of affairs and things, and at one 
contracting, there is not a single thing remaining : this 
then constitutes the easily-acting forces and energetic opera- 
tions, above spoken of ; arid this constitutes the advancing 
and receding of the superior and inferior principles of 
nature. As^ain, the easily-acting forces of the two-fold 
breatii or spirit of nature, refer to their advancing and reced- 
ing, contracting and expanding, which is the natural result 
of ihe principle of order, without any express arrangement, 
or forced settling, therefore they are called easily-acting 
forces. Further, speaking of the Kwei Shins, they are 
merely the contracting and expanding spirit or breath of the 
superior and inferior principles of nature. You may call 
them the superior and inferior principles of nature, but we 
prefer to denominate them Kwei Shins, with reference to 
their easily-acting forces and energetic operations. After 
the remarks of Yaou-she, which have already been given a- 
mong the critical remarks, one Woo-she is quoted, who says^ 

*' Although the Kwei Shins may be called the ^ breath or 
spirit (of nature), yet the 3|§| principle of order is really in- 
cluded: hence the word 'traces' merely refers to the breath or 


spirit, while the phrase 'easily-acting forces' includes also the 
principle of order, and thus the idea becomes completed. 

Generally npeaking, the principle of order is JJ^ jf^ _£^ hing 
urh shauij;, superior to form, or immaterial ; and the hreadi or 

spirit is J^ fjy |> hing urh hea, subject to form^ or material) 

while the Kwei Shins are Jj^ jfj JQ "f^ hing urh shang hea,, 
both superior and inferior to form, or between the two ; 
were it not so, why should Choo-foo-tsze say, that the 
contractings and expandings referred to, are all the easy 
actings of the principle of order, without any express ar- 
rangement, or forced settling ?" The compiler then adds his 

own opinion, as follows : '* That which the |§ |f§ Yu-luy 
says regarding the Kwei Shins refers principally to the 

^(^ k'he, breath of nature, which is material ; I should say, 
that viewing them as contrasted with ^ wuli, matter, then 
the Kwei Shins enter into ^^ wiih, matter, i^J^^^JfS 
L sz^ she hing urh shang, and appear to be themselves 
immaterial ; but viewing them as contrasted with ]^ le, 
the principle of order, tlien the j)rinciple of order existed 
before the k'he, breath of nature : and thus the Kwei Shins 

3v S 1^ ffff "F y^^ s^® ^"^S "^"'^ *^^'^» ^^^ s^^^^ found to 
be material ; Woo-she looks upon them to be between the 
material and immaterial, which we should most certainly 
comprehend and accept." 

Should any one asis, how the Kwei Shins could be spirits, 
and yet half material { we can only say, that in the view of 
the Chinese, spirit is not opposed to n)atter, so much as fo 
form. The Kwei Shins were in<oi poreal, but not decidedly 
immaterial. Kitto. has some remarks on this subject, under 
the word anirel, which we will here transcribe. " The terra 
spirit has reference to the nature of angels, and characterizes 
them as incorporeal and invisible essences. But neither the 
Hebrew Ruach, nor the Greek Pneuma, nor even the Latin 
SpiriticSy corresponds exactly to the English spirit^ which is 
opposed to matter, and designates what is immaterial ; 
whereas the other terms are not opposed to matter, but to 
body, and signify, not what is immaf^rial, but what is 
. incorporeal. The modeim idea of spirit was unknown to the 
ancients. They conceived spirits to be incorporeal and 
invisible, but not immaterial, and supposed their essence to 
be a puYe air, or a subtile fire. The proper meaning of 
pneuma^ (from pneo, I breathe) is air in motion, wind, 
breath. The Hebrew Ruach is of the same import, as is" 
also the Latin spirilus^ from spiro, I breathe. When there- 


fare the ancient Jews caUed ansjels ffpiritf, they did not 
mean to deny that they were endued with bodies. When 
ihey affirmed, that angels were incorporeal, they used the 
term in the sonse in which it was understood by the ancients : 
that is free from the impurities of gross matter." 

Storr and Flatt, treating on the spirituality of God, say, 
'<' It is a great mistake to suppose that the same pure and 
-abstract ideas, which are attached to the word spirit in our 
metaphysics, were associated with it in the minds of the 
ancient Israelites. Ideas of such a nature were far itoo hi(,^h 
and transcendental for so ( arly a period. Many among them 
did indeed su|>pose fhat God like man was of a corporeal 
as well as of a spiritual nature : the same thing is found to 
be true in regard to oiher nations, who have worshipped God 
under some human resemblance; and even among Christians 
there have been some who conceived of God as material and 
corporeal. Tl>e Ebionites are accused of this error ; and 
TertulUan asks, 'Quis negabit Deum corpus esse, etsi Deus 
spiritus est V " We need not therefore be surprised, that the 
Chinese should have esteemed the spirits of whom they spoke 
to be material, though invisible and incorporeal. For they, 
like the Hebrews wiih regard to Ruach^ supposed them to be 
composed of and almost identical with ^ k'he, breath. 

Wih regard to the Kwei Shins being the spirit, of the 

male and female principle of nature, a writer in the 7K ^ 

Up ^ Pun-Crhwae-tsan further observes : "When things are 

first produced, the ^ k'he, breath or spiritual energy daily 
advances and grows ; so also when things have come to 

;their perf<( don, the ^ k'he, breath or spiritual energy, daily 
reverts and scatters ; the advancing is called Shin, because 
it expands, and the reverting is called Kwei, because it 
returns. H^ aven and eartli has an inexhaustible number of 
heats and colds : all motions consist of an endless succession 
of contractions and expansions ; the Kwei Shins in reality 
are nothing more than these two princijdes." Again, the 

^i S Yu-luy says, " The expiration and inspiration of the 
^ k'he, breath, is the soul ; this soul is the Shin, and be- 
longs to the male principle of nature. The organs of sense, 
such ad ears, eyes, nose, and mouth, constitute theanima; 
'this anima is the Kwei, and belongs to the female 
principle of nature." Again, we read, " the expirations and 
inspirations of the breath of the mouth, constitute the soul, 
while the perceptions of the eyes and ears constitute the 
anima." Further, "the soul of the male principle of nature 
is the Shin, and the anima of the female principle of nature 


h the Kwei : when thesp, are spoken of with regard to men, 
the male and female principles of imture'combine, when the 
anima consfeals, the soul collects and the man is born : 
afterwards the male and female principles of nature divide, 
when the soul ascends and becomes a Shin, (a disembodied 
spirit), the anima descends and becomes the Kwei, (or 
manes.)" Again, '' the breath or spiritual energy of the 
male and female principles of heaven and earth, combine and 
unite, in order to produce a man : the breath or spirit con- 
stitute the soul, the grosser fluids constitute the anima. 
When a man is about to die, the warm breath makes its 
exit above, this is what is called the soul ascending ; 
while the lower part of the body becomes gradually cold, 
this is what is called the anima descending." 

Who can doubt on reading the above, that the Kwei Shins 
in nature are its breath or spiritual energies, and in man his 
soul and anima ? while the general term by which to 
translate the phrase in both cases in spirit. ''In nearly all 
ancient languages, every power which was at the same time 
great and invisible, was denoted by some word, which in its 
literal signification stood for the wind ; hence Riiach in 

Hebrew, Pneuma in Greek, sjm^itus in Latin, (and ^ k'he 
in Chinese.) That invisible power, which moves and ani- 
mates our bodies, is indicated by the motion of the air, or 
breath, and thence derives its name; for as soon as we. 
cease to inhale the air, we cease to move and live. Hence 
even this invisible power which gives motion and life to our 
bodies, is also called Ruach in Hebrew, Ecclesiastes 8 : 8. 
and K'he, in Chinese." The body is called basar, in 

Hebrew, (and ^ hing. in Chinese), inbothof which languages 
these terms are opposed to Ruach and K^he respectively. 
Confucius, in the second section, goes on to say, "In 
endeavouring to observe (the Kwei Shin), we cannot 
see them ; in attempting to listen, we cannot hear them ; 
and yet they enter into all things, without exception." 

Here the Commentator remarks, " the Kwei Shin, hav.e neither 
form nor sound, and yet the beginning and end of things are invaria- 
bly brousrht about by the uniting and dispersing of the male and female 
principles of nature ; therefore they constitute the substance of all 
things, and there is nothing that can exist without them. The ex- 

presson ** entering into things," is similar to that which the ^ 

Jx! Yih-king uses, about being the stem of matters." 

The paraphrase on this section is t» the following effect ; " How 
can we see the all-pervading actings of the Kwei Shin ? For the 
Kwei Shin have no form, and by the most intense observation we 
cannot perceive them ; also they have no sound, aud by the most 


anxious listening \ve cannot discern them, and yet formless and 
soundless as they are, they really enter into the very centre of form 

and sound. When things are first produced, the J^ breath, or 
spirit, daily advances and grows ; this is the advancing and expanding 
of the Shin. When things have arrived at their fulness and perfection, 

the 5R» breath or spirit, dally reverts to its original, and they wan- 
der about and scatter ; this is tlie reverting and returning of the Kwei. 
Seeing then that they enter into all things, and leave nothinir with- 
out them, how widely-spread are the actings of the ^^ W Kwei 
Shtn !" 

In a critical commentary on this passage, we have the folio t'iug 
remarks : " This section speaks of the wide-spread actings of the 
Kwei Shin; the three sentences are connected together, but the 
whole stress of the section is laid on the ' entering into all things, 
without exception.' The writer premises the first two sentences, 
with the view of procec^ding from the abstruse to the evident, to shew 
the wide-spread diffusion of the Kwei Shin. Their invisibility and 
inaudibility is exhibited in their embodying of things. The three 
sentences, refer only to the business of one time and must not be viewed 
as descriptive of two gradations. Tlieir entering into t'lings means, 
that they enter into the substance of things ; not that the things first 
existed, and afterwards the Kwei Shtus, but that the Kwei Shins first 
existed, and afterwards the things ; and as soon as the things ex- 
isted none of them could be divested of the Kwei Shin. The Kwei 
Shins are in the midst of things, and constitute as it were the bones 
of things. The Kwei Shins are the hosts, and the things the guests. 

Betwixt heaven and earth there is nothing so griiat as this 5|^ breath 
of nature ; that which enters into every fibre and atom is the male and 
female principle of nature, and which incloses heaven and earth 
as in a net, is this male and female principle of nature. When the 

y^ principle of order existed, then this^j^breath or spirit of nature also 

existed ; and when this breath of nature existed, then JJJ^ form also 
appeared. ' The entering into things' refers to the Kwei Shin ; the 
words ' without exception' refer to the things themselves. The 
words beginning and end, used by the Commentator, are not to be ta- 
ken for life and death, but refer to the tx )irations and inspira-ticns, the 
darkenings and brightenings, the changes and transformations of all 
things ; with the substitution of day and night, life and death, and 
such like. The words Kwei and Shin are included in the words male 
and female principle of nature ; for the t^vo brenths of nature are ori- 
ginally hut one breath. The male and female principles uniting 
constitute the beginning of things, and these principles dispersing 
cause their end. Sometimes they disperse and again unite, thus 
after their termination they again commence, which constitutes the 
principle of reproduction, going on spontaneously without intermis- 
sion ; we must not take the breath, or spirit after it is contracted, and 
consider it in the light of the newly. expanding breath : an exemplifi- 
cation of this may be seen in the act of breathing. The ' invisible 
and iuaudible,' spoken of in this passage, constitutes the abstruseness 


of their aetin^R ; the 'entering into all things without exception' 
constitutes the display of their actings; thus this section includes 
both the abstruse and manifest; while the last section merely refers 
to their results." 

From the 7|V ^ BS ^ Pun-e-hwae-tsan, we extract the follow- 
ing remarks : 

One says, " The theory that the pure and ethereal Great One, (viz. 
Heaven) is the origin of all thing's, was tliought not to be sufficiently 
well-founded, and therefore it was deemed necessary Ui unite the pure 
and the mixed, the ethereal and the solid, and thus ra-n came to 
si)eak of the doctrine of the Shin, spirits, which enter into every 
thing wilhout exception, an 1 are not to be considered as confined to 
one place." * 

Another sayg, *' Whatever i au assume an appearance exists ; what- 
ever exists has jj^form ; and wliatever possesses form has a ^t k'he, 
breath or spiritna| energy ; the nature of this breath is originally j^ 
heu, ethereal, and jfllf shin, spiritual : thus then jjtp shin, spirit, with 

1^ sing, nature, are attrihutes originally possessed by the ^ k'he, 
breath or spiritual energy ; aiid this is the way in which the Kwei 
Shins enter into all tilings without exception " 

Leu-she says, " The Kwei Shins are without form, therefore by 
looking you cannot see them. ; they are without sound, therefore by 
listening you cannot hear them ; and yet when the myriad of things 

are produced, there is not one of them without a ^ k'he, breath, or 
spiritual ener/y ; this spiritual energy is the essence of tke Shin : so. 

also, there is not one of them without ^J^ in anima, (or coarser spirit) ; 
this anima is the essence of the Kwei ; tims it is that man is a con- 
junction of the Kwei and Shin, (that is, he has both a finer spirit and 
a coarser anima, which together constitute him a living being) : this 
is the way in which they (the Kwei'Shins) enter into all things with- 
out exception. The Kwei Shins pervade and flow abroad, betwixt 
heaven and earth, extending to every place ; although they are silent 
and motionless, yet when influenced (by sacHfices,) they immediately 
give intimation of their existence : although they have neither form 
nor sound, yet it is said of them, that they are sometimes brightly 
illumined, and incapable of being deceived : hence the expression, 
* they are as if above our heads, and on the right hand and left.' 
Being invisible and inaudible, they may be said to be abstruse ; and 
yet entering into all things without exception, they may be said to be 
manifest. Further, pervading all between heaven and earth, and 
being at the same time brightly illumined and incapable of being im- 
posed upon, they may be said to be sincere ; yet inasmuch as when 
affected they will give intimation of their existence, they may be 
Baid to be irrepressible or unconcealable." 

One asked, "The traces of production and transformation, such as 
the wind, rain, frost, and dew, witli the revolution of the four seasons, 
all these may be seen ; and yet it is said that by looking you cannot 
perceive them (the Kwei Shins), and by listening you cannot hear 


fhem : (how is this ?) To whicli the answer is returned, If j'ou say, 
they (the Kwei Shins) do not exist, they do ; and if you 8ay they 
do exist, they do not ; when things are produced and completed, if 
this be not the Kwei Shin what is it ? and yet where wiii you go 
to see the Kwei Shins ? If we refer again to their being widely dif- 
fused as if present, we find ttiat they still exist." 

Some having questioned whether the ^f wuh, thit»gs, m^^^tioned 
in the text, as those into which the Kwei Shins enter, nn-ant things on- 
ly, or affairs as well as things : the compiler of the work says, " Tne 

word J^ wuh includes both business and things. If you take it to 

refer to inanimate things, then the Kwei Shins are the |^ ^^ tsing 
ying, subtile fluid and vigor of the things that are made ; and if you un- 
derstand the word in the sense of business and affairs, then the Kwei 

Shins constitute the 7^ 5^ animation and vivacity of the humai?. 
raind ; neither of which can be dispensed with ; men in the present 
day leave out the idea of business and affairs, and miss, it is to be feared. 
the intention of the author of the Chung-yant^, in making use of this 
expression." According to the above, the Kwei Shnis eijter into both 
plants and men, constituting the vigour of th« one and the vivacity of 
the other ; what then is so suitcible to represent this term in English, 
as our word spirit ? 

Confucius, in the third section of this chapter, ob- 
serves, '* Whilst causing each man in the empire to be 
properly adjusted and purified (wilhin,) and arrayed in 
suitable apparel (without,) in ordi^r to offer t^ie accus- 
tomed sacrifices, (the Kwei Shin) are expandingly 
spread abroad, as if over the heads, und as if on each 
side (of the worshippers.)" 

The commentator on this passagn iAh us, that '* to adjust means 
to put things even, and is the action by which we adjust that which 
was before uneven : pure, lie says, means cJean ; expandingly spread 
abroad, conveys the idea of flowing about and filling up." He 
observes further, that (the Kwei Shin's) " being able to iiiduce men 
to be reverential and respectful, in presenting sacrilioes, and being 
thus plainly exhibited and displayed, is a proof of tiieir entering into 
all things without exception." Tiie Commentator then quotes a passage 
of Confucius, which, he sajs, conveys the same idea, saying '*That their 
breath or spiritual energies being displayed above, and becoming a 
bright light or a. fragrant odour, or exciting the mournful feelings 
(of the worshippers,) is a specimen of the essences of the various living 
things, and a manifestation of the Shin." 

The paraphrast on this passage says : " Should any ask, how we can 
shew that the Kwei Shin enter into all things without exception? 
we would try to prove it by that which is easily seen. At the period 

of sacrificing, .^ IBt >^ ^§ ^^^® spiritual energies of the Kwei 
Shin are able to cause an men in the empire, whilst severally ofier- 
ing such Bacrifices as are suited to their stations, to be adjusted and 



purified, in order to promote veneration within, and to be properly 
apparelled, in order to shew respect without, and thus off«r their 
sacrifices ; at such time you may see the subtility and vigour of the 
Kwei Shin displayed and manifested, expandingly pervading and 
filling all around, as if they were over the heads, and as if they were 
on each side (of the worshippers.) In this we may see, that the 
Kwei Shins are present wherever we may go, and this a proof of their 
entering into all things without exception." 

The critical commentator on this passage says : "The expression *en- 
tering into all things' in the former section, is very broad and com- 
prehensive. In all the productions and changes of heaven and earth, 
such as the flourishing and decaying of the blood and breath of hu- 
man life, the blooming and withering of plants and trees, with the 
living and dying of all kinds of things, ttiere are invariably present 
the Kwei Shins. This then is a passing o)i, from the subject of their 
universally comprehending things, to that of the propriety of sacrifi- 
cing to them ; for the writer was afraid lest people should take ^^ 
7^ /^ J^ IBt ^^® Kwei Shin of the spiritual mechanism of na- 
ture, and ^^ -^ ^ ^ ^^ j]Ji^ the Kwei Shin who enjoy sacrifices, to 
be of two kinds ; he therefore speaks of that which is extremely near 
and evidently displayed, wishing men to understand that they are in 

fact one. In the word "j^ ' causing,' used in the text, we see their 

^g spiritual energy. The * sacrificing' spoken of, not only alludes 
to the sacrifices offered to the manes of departed persons, but it in- 
cludes all objects, whether heaven and earth, the hills and rivers, w 
the five parts of the dwelling, according to that which it is suitable 
for each person to sacrifice to ; but when we are sincere and respectful, 

in order to collect our own >[^ iji^ animal spirits, then their animal 
spirits will also be collected, and thus they will be expansively per- 
vading, and filling up the surrounding space, as if the Shin were 
there present. The expression ' over-head, and on each side,' mere- 
ly conveys the idea of their filling up the surrounding space, and not 
that of their unsettledness. Ancestors and descendants have only 

one ^4 breath or spirit ; and although our ancestors may be dead, 

yet as long as our persons are preserved, jflfl. y|^ ^ )[j^ the Shtns 
6£ our ancestors is certainly in existence. Therefore when we carry 
to the utmost our sincerity and rtspect, we may certainly influence 

them. When we sacrifice to the /f* jjl^ outside Shins, (that is to 
the spirits of the hills and rivers,) and cause them to enjoy our offerings, 
it is also to be ascribed to the same principle. When a man's station is such 
as to entitle him to sacrifice to certain objects, then his mind may be 
allied to those objects ; when the mind conceives this mutual alliance, 
then the Shins approach. The * extensive pervading as if present,' 
is the action of men's own minds ; but that which causes this 'ex- 
tensive pervading as if present' is the action of the Kwei Shins 
themselves. Their causing men to be thus, is their entering into all 
things ; and men's minds of themselves being thus, is a proof that no 


Bingle thinsj can be divested of the Kwei Shins. Therefore *§* -^ 
the Kwei Shins of my own person, are ^f* Jljj ^^ J^ 

the Kwei Shins that are the object of sacrifice ; and the Kwei 

Shins that are the object of sacrifice are ?^ -^ /^ ^ f It ^^e 
Kwei Shins of the spiritual mechanism of nature, Chuo-foo-tsze has 
said, that this one section being inserted in the middle of this chapter, 
conveys the same idea with that of the * hawk flying up and the fish 
diving down,' in the account of the Happy Medium. (That is, 
it exhibits the widfily-extended disolays of the principle of order.) 
When the spiritual energies of the Kwei Shins are bright andillumin- 

ed, this is their being ' brilliantly displayed.' When their 55i breath 
or spirit ascends upward, like steam or vapour, and affects men, this is 
the production of the ' frigrant or exhilarated feeling ;' and when 
they cause men's animal spirits to be frigid and stiff, this is the bring- 
ing about of ' the mournful feeling.' At death, (the manes) are 
contracted, but when they are influenced by sacrifices and induced to 
come, they expand, hence it is calltd the manifestation of the Shins." 

In the ^^5 ^§ [/£ ^^ Pun-e-hwae-tsan, under this section, we 
meet with the following observations : Seay-she says, " When a 

man dies, his 5iC breath or spirit is exhausted : I should like to 
know, therefore, whether there be any Kwei Siiin or not ?" To this 
the answer is returned as follows : *' On a certain occasion I also pro- 
posed this qiiestion to an intelligent teacher, who said, If I should 
say they do not come, you would not believe me ; and if I should 
say, they do, you would want to see them : this then is your answer." 
I then asked the tee^cher, what are the Kwei Shins that are sacrificed 
to ? To which the answer was returned, This is another idea ; when 
a man fasts for three days, and guards himself for five, seeking the 
spirits in the visible and invisihle world, on all sides, above and below, 
this shews his desire to collect his own animal spirits, in order to 
affect those which d veil in the ancestorial temple ; which refers to 
the collecting or scattering of the same. But althoua:h he does- this, 
it would not be proper to consider that they are really present, nor 
that they are not present. This is a mysterious doctrine, and you 
must conclude that they (the Kwei Shins) are something between 
existence and non-existence, when you will hit it." 

One asked " With regard to the Shins (spirits) of heaven and earth, 

hills and rivers, when the things are there, the 5i^ breath or spiritual 
energies are also there, and when people sacrifice to them, the Shins 
(spirits) can be induced to come ; but when men are dead, and the 
breath or spiritual energies are scattered, how can they be induced 
to eome ?" To which the reply is made, " It is because they are of the 

same ^ftH, breath or spiritual energy. If the sons and grandsons have 
a breath or spiritual energy here ; from whence does it come ? The 
origin thereof is from the ancestor who first produced the present 
rac€, and with them this spiritual energy ; while that which has been 
handed down to the present tim« i« just this spiritual energy. But 


then th^ question is asked, What are we to think of eacrificing to 
former sages and worthies ? Answer. If they have merit with the peo- 
ple, the people ought to recompense them : the sacrifices offered by 
the ancients to the Five Tes were on this principle." 

The following extract from the ^Sx^^^-^^Jy shews the iden" 
tity of the Slitn with the K'he, and tliat Shin is to be understood in 
the sense of spirit. An enquiry is thus propounded : ** The expres- 
feion ' causing the people of the empire, whilst properly adjusted and 
purified within, and rightly apparelled without, to offer the accustom- 
ed sacrifices,' seems to speak as if there was sorne one to cause all 

this ?" To which the reply is n.ade : ''This is merely the ^^ breath 
or spiritual energy ; that which is said to be * brightly illumined, or 
fragrant, or oppressive to the feelings,' is merely this same breath or 
spiritual energy. The illumination spoken of, is its biig-htness : the 
fragrance alluded to, is its steam or vapour ; and the o})pressiveness (if 
the feelingi< hinted at, is as it were an affecting of men, and making them 
sorrowlul ; as we read in the books of Han, * when the spiritual prince 
came near, there was a sudden gust of wind ' " The compiler then 
gives his own views, *' The writer in the Chapter oa Sacrifices, in the 
Le-ke, considers that the body being dead constitutes the Kwei, 

while the ^ spiritual energy expanding and mounting aloft, consti- 
tutes the Shin ; hence the 5^4 ^gi Yu-luy considers, tiiat the breath 
or spiritual energy of a man is like the smoke arising from fire, in 
which case, notwithstanding the fuel may be removed from beneath, 
the smoke goes on moutiting upwards. This alludes to the circum- 
stances of a man's death. With respect to the quotation made in the 
section before us, it is merely the sense of the passage taken out 
of the middle of a sentence. When the sacrifices are offered, while 
the libations of fragrant wine are made, and the fumes of sweet- 
smelling plants ascend, the offerer seeks (for the spiilt) both in 
the visible and invisible world, impressed with awe as if (the 
Shins) were present ; which is the manifestation of the Shin. This 
differs, however, in some measure, from the object of the writer in 
the Chapter on Sacrifices \h the Le-ke." 

Oonfucius, in the fourth section of this chapter, quotes 
a passage from the =^ ^ Book of Odes, which says : 
** The approaches of ihe Shin cannot be ascertained, 
how then can we tolerate negligence "?" The whole 
passage of the Ode runs thus : *' When I observe 
your associations with your virtuous friends, f perceive 
that your countenance is placid and agreeable, (as if 
you were saying) how can I avoid falling into mistakes ^ 
but let us look at your private abode, and see whether 
you can peradventure avoid cause for blushing in your 
secret dwelling ; do not say that the things there per- 
formed are not public, and that no one sees you ; for the 


approaches of the Shin are not to he C'mjectured : how 
then can you suffer yourself to indulge indifference *? " 

The Commentator on this passage merely explains the terms. The 
paraphrase runs thus : " The fact of the Kwei Shins entering into 
things, not only happens at the time of sacrificing, but in our private 
dwellings ther(^ is something of this sort ; for the Ode says. The 
coming of the Shins cannot be calculated on ; so that in our private 
dwellings, were we ever so sincere and respectful, we might slili 
fear having cause to blush ; how then can we allow ourselves in careh'ss- 
ness and disrespect ? Looking therefore at the words of this Ode, 
we may know more perfectly tliat the Kwei Shin enter into all things 
without exception." 

Ihe critical commentary on the above passage says, *' The coming 
above spoken of, is an expanding effort ; hence the writer does not 
»peak of the Kwei, (or contracting,) but only of the Shin, (or expanding 
principle.) Yet the Shiis tiere spoken of, are the kind of KweiSbins 
to whom sacrifices are offered ; but the Ode merely refers to the time 
of our dwelling in our private habitations, and does not refer 
to the Reason of sacrificing ; for although the former section was suffi- 
cient to prove, that the Kwei Shins enter into all things without excep- 
tion, yet fearing lest people should merely advert to the Kwei 
Shins at the period of sacrificing, and neglect them on common oc- 
casions, he referfs to ilie Kwei Shin being everywhere present, 
^ven in our private dwellings ; thus the idea of their entering in- 
to all things witliout exception, would be still more evident. This 
section refers mainly to the idea of the second section regarding 
the entering into all thinas; and is not to be confined to the elu- 
cidation of the third section conCprnir.g sacrificing." 

We extract from the ^^\. ^^ Qg ^' Pun-e-hwae-tsan a few 

remarks on this section, to shew that tne Kwei shins, in their univer- 
sal pervading, are merely the breath or spiritual energies of the male 
and female principles of nature. ** The section which speaks of 
being well-adjusted and purified within, refers to men's noticing 
the place where the Kwei Shins are present, and from thence dedu- 
cing the fact of tlieir entering into all things without exception : and 
the quotation from the Ode ref< rs to men's not regarding the place 
where the Kwei Shins are ])resent, and also from thence deducing the 
fact of their entering into all things without exception. It is scarcely 
necessary to observe, that the displays of the Kwei Shin are never so 
evident, as at the period of sacrifice, when men are exceedingly re- 
verential arid respectful. In the midst of a dark and secret dwelling, 
however, no one perceives that there are Kwei Shins present, and it 
seems as if one might be indifferent and careless ; but the two-fold 
breath or spirit of the male and female principles of nature fills up 
closely every space, and thus there is no place where there are 
no Kwei Shins ; and lest we should dare to allow lightness and tri- 
fling to spring up in the least degree, the expression of the Poet 
is the more stern and rigid." 

In the last section of this chapter, Confucius says, 


"- How great then is the manifestation of their abstruse- 
ness ! whilst displaying their sincerity, they are not to 
he concealed." 

The Commentator says, "■ Sincerity here means, that which is 
true and trap from all deception. The collectings and scatterings 
of the male and female principles of nature, are invariahly true or 
real, and therefore tlieir manifestations are thus unconcealable." 

The paraphrase on this section, is as follows : "The Kwei Shins 
being invisible and inaudible, may be said to be abstruse, whilst en- 
tering into all things without exception, they are also manifest. But 
how can they be abstruse and at the same time manifest ? In this 
way : in every single instance of the uniting of element«, (to Con- 
stitute livinsr flings,) there is the principle oi expansion (or the 
Shin) present ; and in every single instance of the separation of 
particles, (to bring about their dissolution,) there is the principle of 
contraction (or the Kwei) present ; both these are produced by the 
true and uncorruptcd principle of order decreed by Heaven. This is 
the way in which (the Kwei Shin) are abstruse and yet manifest, 
without any possibility of concealment. From this we may see how 

all-pervading are ^g the actings of the Kwei Shin." 

The critical commentary on this passage runs thus, " The three 
first sections of this chapter all treat of the unconcealable manifesta- 
tion of the abstruse principle ; this section alone points out its sin- 
cerity or truthfulness, and admires it. ^ The abstruse here men- 
tioned, is^ the hidden ; referring to what is above said about the. 
invisible and the inaudible. ^^ The manifest here spoken of, is 

"^ the widely-displayed , referring to what is above said of entering 
into all things without exception. These two, however, are not to be 
divided into separate times and states ; therefore the word of 
in the text, must be particularly notrd ; it does not mean that (the 
Kwei Shtris) proceed from the abstruse to the manifest, but conveys 
the idea of their being at the sahie time both abstruse and manifest ; 

while we must not separate them into two gradations, The §555 sin- 
cerity, spo'ien of in the text, refers to the 3^ principle of order, 

which rules in the midst of the ^^ spirit or breath of nature. Hence 
Hoo-she says, that the Kwei Shins are the breath or spirit of the su- 
perior and inferior principles of nature, in the act of uniting and scatter- 
ing ; while sincerity or truthfulness is the principle of order, according 
to which these two principles unite and scatter. Between heaven and 

earth, there really is this yP principle of order, and 6o also there 

really exists this ^^ breath or s])irit ; thus the contractings (of the 
Kwei) are real contractings, and the expandings (of the Shin) are 
real expandings, but they all act according to this true and unsophis- 
ticated principle of order ; thus tliey are naturally displayed, and cannot 

be concealed ; which is what may be called, having the gjp([ sincerity, 


or real acting within, there will be the Jj^ external form 
without. In its being unconcealable, we see that the abstruseiiess 
will not adnait of being undieplayed ; f«r the writer has already 
strung the abstruse and manifest together, and united them in one ; 
it is not that the abstruse is merely tacked on to the manifest : in 
this way their unconcealable character is pointed out. This section 
shews, that the way in which the actings out of the Kwei Shin are 

thus all-pervading, is mainly on account of their |flj sincerity, or 
truthfulness to nature. It does not mean, that besides the Kwei 

Shin there is something else called gjPC sincerity. This is the first 
time that the woid sincerity appears in this work, the Happy Medi- 
um ; from henceforth tlie word occupies a prominent place in the 

volume. But the sincerity here spoken of is the result of ^ wide- 
spread diftusion, and refers to the j£ principle of order ; the word 
sincerity occurring in subsequent chapters, is that of the sage, per- 
vading all principles, and possessing thcni in himself, which has 

reference to his ^§ virtue. Sincerity forms the pivot and hinge of 
this whole work, the Happy Medinni ; but the writer has managed to 
bring it up when speaking of the Kwci Shin, that he might pass or 
from the root of productions and transformations, to the sincerity of 
the human heart ; in treating of which, the writer's idea would begin 
to be perfect and complete. In a former section he was led, from the 

observation of the hawk and the fishes, to s[)eak of Jg[ the rule of 

right ; which was to take the ^ ^ Jj^ the forms of things, in order 

to manifest ^g the nile of riiiht ; in this S"ction he is led, from the 
consideration of the Kwci Shin, to sneak of the rule of right ; which is 

to take ^ ^^ 0^ the breath or spirit of things, to illustrate the 

rule of right. The invisible and inaudible, constitute j^ the hidden; 

the entering into all things without exception, constitutes the ^ 

expansive ; therefore this chapter is said to y^ unite the expansive 
and the h'dden. The enterin^■ into all things without exception, con- 
stitutes the greatness of the Kwei Shin ; but what the writer says 
subsequently about sacrifices and private dwellings, refers only to 

the littleness of the Kwei Shin ; hence this section is said to T**. 
include the small and great ; thus in the midst of the expansive and 
hidden, he inclurTes the small and the izreat. To quote two opposite 
things, and speak of them to-^-etlier. is called uniting ; to allude to 
this and embrace that, is called including." 

On referring again to theTjV^^ gg §i Pun-e-hwae-tsan, under 

this section, we read, among the extracts from the f§ ^^ Yu-luy, 
as follows : *' The principal thing to be noticed in the Kwei Shins, 

is their ^^ spiritual energy, while they constitute the most essential 

part of things : the principal thing to be noticed in-W <-iii"&»> is their 


7|^ form, while they depend on spiritual energy in order to be pro- 
duced ; for the Kwei Shins are the essence and vigour of the ^^ 
spiritual energy." 

One remarked : '^Formerly, whilst reading the Chung-yung, regarding 
the sincerity or truthfulness that could not be concealed, it occurred 
to me, that I had doubted whether the Kwei Shins, being the con- 
tractings and expancihiijs of the male and female principle of nature, 
might not be considered as beneath form, or material ; but according 
to the Chung-yung they appear to be above form, or immaterial ? 
Upon which tlie teacher observed, Let us for the present consider 
them as material ; but they are always displayed according to the 

principles of truth : thus it is, that before the ^^ spiritual energies 

of nature existed, 5£ the principle of order was in being ; and no 
sooner was the principle of order in being', than the spiritual energies 
also existed." Upon which the compiler remarks, " In this we get 
the idea of (the Kwei Shin's) being between the material and imma- 

The 29 § M -ize-shoo-t'hung says, " The Kwei Shins are the 

:Jft(, spiritual energies of the male and female principles of nature, 
wiiilst engaged in producing and transforming thin:;s ; sincerity is 

the f¥^ principle of order of the male and female principle of nature, 
according to which t) ey produce and transform tilings. When this 
principle of order ri^ally exists, then these spiritual energies really 
exist also. Their essence is very abstruse, but their acting out is ex- 
ceedingly manifest. Now, how can the Kwei Shins, which are 
without form or sound, enter into every thing in the world, 

or influence every man in the empire ? but because when ]^ that 

which is manifest once comes forward, their ^(^ sincerity is thus in- 
concealable. The beginning and end of every thing is invariably caused 
by the collectings and scatterings of the male and female principle 
of nature ; while the collectings and scatterings of the male and 
female principle of nature are undoui^tedly according to the true and 
unsophisticated principle of order. Subsequent ages have not under- 
stood this, and have imagined that the Kwei Shins are like those 
mentioned by the Buddhists and Taouists ; thus falling into the 
liabit of offering superstitious sacrifices, in order to solicit happiness : 
how it is that they proceed all at once to the length of such lying and 
unclassical practices ?" 

From the above we perceive, that the Kwei Shins of the Confucian 
school, are the spiritual energies of nature, as well as the spiritual 
energies of the human frame ; to imagine that they are like those 
mentioned by the Buddhists and Taouists, and to offer superstitious 
sacrifice? to them, is stigmatized by the commentators as no better 
then lying fables and unclassical inventions. 

In the 24th chapter of the 1^ ^ Happy Medium, 
•we have a casual reference to the mfi Shin, which may 


tend to throw some light on the «<uhject. The writer 
Says, " i he f)rinciples of the ^ tl^ perfectly sincere 
enable them to foretel future events ; when a country 
is about to prosper, there will be propitious omens, and 
when a nation is going to decay, there will i^e unfa- 
vourable prognostics. These may be seen in the 
straws and in the tortoise, (used for divination,) and may 
be ascertained from the actions (of the priiice whilst 
sacrificing.) When happiness or misery are at hand, 
whether good, the event may be foreknown, or evil, the 
event may be predicted ; therefore the perfectly sin- 
cere are like the Shins.*' 

The Shins here, according to the commentator, refer to the Kwei 
Shins (spirits); and the quality ascribed to the Sage, leading to the 
foreknowledge of future events, is perfef;t sincerity. The paraphrast 
on this passay-e, says, *• That the Kwei Shin*, entering into all things 
without exception, can move round the, springs of happiness and mi- 
sery ; wh'le the perfectly sinct-re, possessing: in themselves clearness 
and intelligence, can examine the springs of hn.'piness and misery ; 
thus those who can display tlie abstruse in the midst of tlie manifest 
are the Kwei Shins, and those Y\ho can 'inow the ai)strnse in the midst 
of the manifest are the perfectly sincere ; therefore they are able to 
connect the visible and invisible worlds in one course of action, and 
unite Heaven and men in one principle ; thus the perfectly sincere 
are like the Shins." The critical commentator on this passage, says, 
*' The perfectly sincere man possesses in himself clearness and intelli- 
gence, therefore his ^^ mind and ^^ spirit are like the Shins, and he 
knows every single thing beforehand ; thus it is that the Kwei Siiins 
display the springs of action by the principles of truth, and the per- 
fectly sincere examine the springs of action by the feeling of sincerity ; 
hence these latter are said to resemble the Shins. From the non- 
existing to tend towards the existing is the action of the Shin ; from 
the existing to revert to the non-existing is the action of the Kwei ; 
in the present case, there must be the auspicious prognostics, and the 
unfavourable omens, displayed in the straws and tortoises, and disco- 
verable in the actions of the prince (whilst sacrificing), all which are 
• he forebodings of the springs of action made by the sincere : and thus 

from the non-existing to trace out the existing is the )|j^ j^ spiritual 
property of the perfectly sincere. Therefore the writer coii.siders the 
knowledge of the springs of action displayed by the perfectly sincere, 
to resemble that of the Shins. The commentator says, that the Shins 
here refer to the Kwei Shins, by which he means that the word is to be 
taken as referring to the spirits called Kwei Shins, and not to the 

_ shin meaou, inscrutable intelligence of the perfect! v sincere." 
Among the {^ ^ Teaon-peen in the ^ ^ ^ ^ Pun- 
e-hvvae-tsan, we have ih« following^ • 



" Choo-foo-tsze explains the word Shin as referring to the 
Kwei Shins ; and since he inserts the word ' like,' it is 
evident, that he does not intend the word Shin in the sense 
of extremely truthful mysteriousness and inscrutability, but 
in the sense of the Kwei Shins, or spirits of nature. But 
after all, there are no Kwei Shins beyond this truthfulness 
(above spoken of.) When men observe the good and bad 
omens, with the things which are exhibited and moved in 
prognostication, it appears to them as if the Kwei Shins caus- 
ed these things ; whereas they do not know, that all this is 
according to the principle of truthfahiess, which naturally 
and spontaneously acts thus. The abstruse principle of 

extreme truthfulness being thus jji^ spiritual and h^ intelli- 
gent in its natural prognostications, the extremely truthful 
and sincere man will know beforehand the good and evil 
that is about to happen ; is he not then like the Shins ?" 

Among the ^^ ^ " Collected Explanations" in the same 
compilation, wetind the following: ' What is Shin ? Answer. 
Sincerity, or truthfulness to nature. The Kwei Shins em- 
brace the principle of truthfulness in heaven and earth, and 
allow a few of its secret springs to ooze out in the course of 
the prognostications, while the perfectly sincere (or the sages) 
complete the principles of truthfulness in heaven and earth, 
and cause some of its secret springs to be illumined in the 
commencement of what is manifest. Among the Kwei Shins 
there is truthfulness connected with form , and among the 
perfectly sincere there is truthfulness connected with clear- 
ness ; thus it is that the extremely sincere are like the Shins, 
and tlms it is that the extremely sincere can know things 

In the 29th chapter of the Happy Medium, we have 
another reference to the Kwei Shin. The passage 
runs thus : 

" 1. He who rules over the empire has three 
weighty matters to arrange, which done, perhaps he 
may reduce the number of errors, (committed under 

On this the Commentator says, that " The three weighty matters 
are ceremonies, regulations, and literary examinations. When no 
one but the Emperor interferes in managing these, then the different 
states will be uniformly governed, families will be saved from hetero- 
geneous customs, and individuals W'U have fewer errors to lament." 

2. " Although those of high antiquity might have 
been good, yet they have left no sufficient records to 
prove it ; their goodness not having been substantiated, 


has failed to induce credence ; and failing to induce 
credence, the people have not complied with then\. 
In like manner, although those of a more recent 
period may be good, yet they are , not honoured 
(by being invested with regal dignity) ; not being thus 
honoured, they fail to secure public confidence, and 
not havingisuch confidence, they are not followed.'' 

Here the commentator remarks, that '* Those of high antiquity, 
refer to the monarchs who flourished hefore that time, such as 
those who instituted the ceremonies of the Hea and Shang dynasties, 
who, although good, had not left sufficient records to enable men to 
substantiate their goodness. Those of a more recent period, refer 
to the sages, who occupied inferior stations, such as Confucius, who, 
although he instituted excellent ceremonies, was not exalted to a 
station of dignity." 

3. " Therefore the institutions of the superior man 
should originate with himself, and should be suffi- 
ciently substantiated among the people ; when com- 
pared with those of the three ancient kings, they 
should be found unerring ; when established before 
heaven and earth, they should not appear inconsistent 
with right reason ; when confronted for examination 
before the Kwei Shins, there should be no doubt about 
them ; and co the distance of a hundred ages, waiting 
for another sage to arise, there should be no misgivings 
respecting them." 

The commentator tells us, that *' The superior man here spoken of, 
refers to him who rules over the empire ; and the institutions men- 
tioned, refer to the ceremonies, regulations, and literary examinations, 
appointed by him. Originating with himself, means, that he himself 
should possess the requisite virtue to institute them. To substantiate 
them among the people, means, that they should be so proved as to 
induce belief and compliance. ' Established,' means, set up ; as it 
were set up here to be examined there. Heaven and earth is here 

put for |§ the principle of right reason. The Kwei Shins here refer 
to the traces of formation and change, (as they are seen in those 
expandings and contractings of nature which bring about production 
and decay.) To anticipate the arising of another sage after the lapse 
of a hundred ages, without feeling any misgivings, is as much as to 
say, that if another sage should arise he would not alter my words." 

The paraphrase on this passage says, that " if those who possess 
virtue (like the sages), without hitting upon the right time, and with- 
out obtaining the proper rank, are still unable to reduce the number 
of the people's errors, how much less can tho«e accomplish it who mere- 
ly happen to light upon the opportunity, and get into •tations of trust 


and dignity, without possessing the requisite virtue? Therefore 
the superior man, who presides over the empire, in carrying out these 
three important institutions, having first paid honour to virtuous na- 
ture and encouraged hterary efforts ; then being enabled to ilbistrate 
the nature of heaven, earth, and all things ; while he complies with 
the laws of ceremony and music, business and affairs ; at the same 
time inheriting every one of these in hunself, — maybe said to possess 
tha requisite virtue. Moreov^er, when he hits on the proper season, and 
obtains the requisite dignity, while he demonstrates this to the people 
of the empire, then he will be contided in, and then he will be follow- 
ed ; in this way perhaps he may substantiate the goodness of his acts. 
Still he does not dare to boast of himself, and will take his actions 
and compare them with those of the three ancient kings, until he finds 
that amongst the things which he has followed or altered, diminished 
or increased, there is not the slightest departure from former prac- 
tices. He also takes the things which he has instituted, and submits 
them to the scrutiny of heaven and earth, and finds that amongst the 
things which he has curtailed or completed, aided or assisted, there 
is nothing that contradicts the self-existent principle of right. More- 
over, the Kwel Shins are without form, and are witn difficulty under- 
stood : he therefore takes his own actions, and brings them in con- 
tact with the abstruse and mysterious ; in this way he onfronts them 
for examination with the Kwei Shins, whose contractings and expand- 
inss, changes and transformations, are nothing more than this princi- 
ple of right ; thus the invisible world substantiates the visible, and 
the superior man is free from doubt. Future sages have not yet 
arisen, "tind it is difficult to know what they will be : he therefore se- 
cures that his conduct be such that nothing can be added to it ; and 
then in the anticipation of some future sage, his actions and usages 
would be nothing more than what this principle of right inculcates ; 
thus he takes the distant to substantiate the near, and is without 
misgivinofs. In this way it is that the three institutions of the supe- 
rior man have some certain oriirin, and are substantiated by proper 
proofs." In a more extend, d conm entary on the subject, the writer 
says, *' The inscrutabilities of the Kwei Shins, refer to the nmtual de- 
pendence of their filling and emptying, their dispersing and growing, 
wit'ii the inexhaustible character of tlieir contracting and expanding, 
advancing and receding." 

4. " Confronting his actions for examination with the 
Kwei Shins, and having no hesitancy, shows thcit the 
superior man understands Heaven ; to be able to anti- 
cipate the arising of some future sage after the lapse of 
a hundred ages, without feeling any misgiving, shows 
that he understands men." 

The Commentator remarks on this, that to know heaven and to 
know men, means, that he knows the principles which regulate them. 
The Kwei Shins dwell in the invisible world, and the superior 
man's being able to confront himself before them, without feeling any 
doubt, shews that he under»tood the principles by which Heaven 


is actuated. For the prItK:iple» by which Heaven is actuated, ar*^ 
carried to the utmost with respect to the K\rei Shins ; and the snp«- 

rior man examining thoroughly their Jj^ mysterious actings, and un- 
derstanding completely their fla transformations, according to 
the principles by which Heaven's ways are e-^tablished, knows them 
to the fullest extent ; therefore those things which are displayed 
in his acts and regulations, are all in conformity with Heaven, and 
he could confront them without feeling any doubt. When the 
writer in this connection merely refers to the Kwei Shins, we may 
know that Heaven is included. In like manner, future sages are re- 
moved to a most distant period, and the superior man's being able to 
wait for them without feeling any misgiving, shews that he knew 
the principles by which men are actuated; for tl\e principles by which 
men are actuated are curried to the utmost in the case of the sages ; 
and the superior man understanding clearly the various living things, 
and investigating accurately the human relations, according to 
the principles by which human hearts are assimilated, knows them 
most completely ; therefore those things which are seen in his j^cts 
and regulations, are all in conformity with men, and he could 
wait for them without feeliuij any misgiving. When the writer 
in this connection merely mentions the future sages, we may kno\Y 
that the three former kings aro included." 

In the p^ ^ Lim-yu, Discourses and Conversations, 
2(1 book, and oth page, we have the following passage : 

1. " He sacrificed (to his ancestors) as if they were 
present, he sacrificed to the Shins, as if the Shins were 

The Commentator on tl)is passage tells us, that "where the word sa- 
crifice alone is employed, it is to be understood of sacrificing to the 
miuies of ancestors ; and that where the sacrificing to the Shins is 
mentioned, the outside Shins are intended : (viz. the spirits of the 
hills and rivers, who are not related to the worshipper.) In sacrifi- 
cing to one's ancestors, the most important feeling is filial piety, and 
in sacrificing to the Shins, the most important thing is respect." The 
commentator suggests also, that "in this passage the disciples of Con- 
fucius intended to record the sincere feeling of the sage at the time of 

In the paraphrase the writer remarks, *' The disciples of the sage 
here make a minute, saying. The mo^t important thing in sacrificing 
is a sincere feeling. When the sage sacrificed to his progenitors, 
his filial feelings were pure and earnest : and although his ancestors 
were removed to a distance, he felt as if their sound and form were 
present on the seat appointed for them. When he sacrificed to the 
outside Shins, (or those not related to him), his respectful feelings 
were bent towards one point, and although there was no connection of 
form and sound, he felt as though these outside Shins were over his 
head ; so intense was his sincerity." 

The critical commentator on this passage states, that *' when ances- 
tors are mentioned, deceased parents are of course included. The 


outside Shins he says, are the Shins (or spirits) of the hills and forests, 
rivers and valleys, which are able to get up clouds and bring down 
rain : these were sacrificed to when the saee was iii office. When 

the outside Shins are mentioned, then the JjL JIE spirits sacrificed 
to in the five parts of the houise, are included. Filial piety conveys 
the idea of sympathy and love, respect that of veneration and awe. 
Separately considered, the one is filial piety, and the other respect ; 
viewed in connection, it is but one feeling of sincerity, which reigning 
in filial piety, the filial piety is extremely sincere ; and reigning in 

respect, the respect is unquestionably true. My own ^^ }^ animal 
spirits are the anin^al spirits of my progenitors ; when on my part, I 

carry to the utmost my sincerity and respect, then ^J^ the breath or 
spii it of my ancestors is here present; just like a stalk of grain, 
when the original plant is dead, new roots appear on the side, thus 
connecting the real breath or spirit down to the present time. 
Although the outside Shins are not one breath or spirit with myself, 
yet since it is suitable for me to sacrifice to them, then there exists the 
principle of intercommunication ; and if I carry to the utmost my res- 
pect and sincerity, their 5lC hreath or spirit will also be influenced 
and induced to come. But if the Shins are such as we ought not to 

sacrifice to, then as this jgl principle does not exist, the 5f^ breath 
or spirit cannot be present K'hung says, that the Shins here mean 
the hundred Shins, or spirits in general." 

Confucius said, " When I do not attend at the sacri- 
fice, it is to me as if there were no sacrifice." 

Here, says the Commentator, "the disciples record the words of Con- 
fucius, in order to illustrate the above sentence. At the proper time 
for sacrificing, perhaps something might have happened, (sickness or 
such like,) to prevent the sage's attendance, when he commissioned 
some one else to act for him ; on such occasions he could not carry 
out the feeling of sincerity as if present ; and although the sacrifice 
was performed, this feeling was defective, and he felt as if the sacri- 
fice had not been performed. Fan-she says, That when the good 
man sacrifices, he guards against indulgence for seven days, and fasts 
for three ; in this we may see, that the sacrificer carries his sincere 
feeling to the utmost ; thus when the border sacrifice is offered, the 

yC IHt celestial spirits approach ; and when the a'lcestorial oflfering 

is presented, the J^ ^^ human manes enjoy them ; but it all de- 
pends upon ourselves to produce this effect. If we exercise suitable 
sincerity, then the proper Shins will be present, but without the due 
exercise of feeling on our parts, the expected Shins will not be there ; 
can we therefore dispense with caution ? In the expression, * when 
I am not present at a sacrifice, it is to me as if there were no sacri- 
fice,* we see, that sincerity was the real thing, and the service a 
mere empty ceremony." 

In the TK S S S' Pun-e-hwae-tsan, a question is proposed 
to the following effect ; " Did sacrifices originate with the arrange- 


ments of the sages with the view of instructing mankind or not ? To 
this E-chuen replied in the negative, adding, that sacrifices origi)iated 
in nature ; for the wolf, the otter, and the hawk all practice the duty 
of sacrifiee : in each of which instances they comply with the nature 
implanted in them ^>y Heaven : 8hs)uld men then fall behind the brute 
creation ?'* It seems that otters do not devour the whole of the fish they 
take, but leave a portion, which the Cliinese imagine, is done ^vith the 
view of sacrificing it, in ordtir to testify their gratitude to the giver of 
the same. Human beings, they imagine ought to be as sensible of the 
origin of their mercies as brutes : and therefore t!iey should sacrifice, 
to their ancestors. "The sages observing this instinct, have appointed 
ceremonies and institutions in order to instruct mankind." 

The ^§ 5^ Tse-fa section of the Le-ke says, That ** those 
influences in me hills and rivers, mounds and hillocks, which can get 
up clouds, and produce fvinds and rain, as well as display mon- 
strous appearances, are all called Shins, spirits. The Emperor sacri- 
fices to ^^ 'liv *'l t,he spirits : the ()rinces of the empire do service 
to them in their several districts, which is called sacrificing to the 
soirits. When a man fasts previous to the performince of the cere- 
mony, he may see (the spirit) t at he sacrifices to : but this is not to 
be effected without the extreme of sincerity and respect, therefore it is 
always said, as though they were present." 

Theg^l^ Yn-luy says, " When Confucius sacrificed to his 
ancestors hi^ filial feelings were pure and intense ; and although 
the dead were removed to a distance, he took advantage of the 
opportunity to carry back his thout^hts to them, and felt as if in 
voice and maimer they held intercourse with him ; thus he carried 
out his filial feeliniifs "in sacrificing to them. The outside Shins, or 
spirits that were sacrificed to, were ihot^e presiding over the hills and 
rivers, the land and grain, with the five parts of the dwelling, accor- 
ding to what a man ought to sacrifice to. This was done when the 

sage was in office. Although ][\^ PJj spiritual intelligences are as 
though they existed and as though they existed not, Confucius 
merely carried to the utmost his sincerity and respect, being stern and 
dignified, as if the spiritual intelligences actually came, and he 
could hold intercourse with them." 

In the third l)ook of f^ ^^ Discourses and Conver- 
sations, on the I7th page, we have the following pas- 
sage : 

" Fan-che enquired what was the dictate of wisdom ^ 
Confucius said, Attend mainly to the duties you owe 
to the people : respect the Kwei Shins, and keep them 
at a distance ; this may be considered wisdom. He 
further asked regarding benevolence ?- 'Jo which the 
sage replied. Benevolence consists in paying chief at- 
tention to what is difficult, and afterwards regarding 


that whi^h may be acquired thereby; this may be 
considered benevolence." 

Tlie commentator on this passage says, That ** the word people, 
is to be understood of men in general. Acquire means to obtain, 
lo exert one's mctin strensrth in doing that which is suitable, in our in- 
tercourse with mankind, and not to be deluded by the mscrutabilities 
of .the Kwei Shin, is the business of the wise. First to attend to 
what is difficult in business, and afterwards to regard what is to be 
obtained as the result of such efforts, this is the feeling of the benevo- 
lent man. This announcement to Fan-che must have been on ac- 
count of some known fault into which he had fallen. Ching-tsze 
says, that for people to put too much confidence in the Kwei Shins, 
is a delusion ; and yet if you do not believe them altogether, 5'ou can- 
not respect them : but to respect them, and yet to keep them at a 
distance, is the dictate of wisdom. He also says, To attend first to 
the most difficult thing, menus to repress one's evil desires. To put 
that first which is most difficult, and yet not to speculate upon what 
you may get br so doing, is benevolence. Leu-she says. You should 
attend to that which is most urgent, and not seek after that which is 
hard to be understood ; you should strenuously practice that which 
you know, and not dread difficulties in that which is hard to perform." 

The paraphrase on the above passage says, That "Fan-che enquired 
roLTardinir wisdom, when Confucius said, Wisdom consists in the 
clear discernment of right principles, and in the strenuous perform- 
ance of that which is suitable towards others ; whatever the human 
relations, and right reason render necessary to be carried out, and what- 
ever the duties of your station require you to perform, you should 
exert your utmost strength in doing ; but with respect to the Kwei 
Shins, respect them, and keep them at a distance, neither flattering 
nor annoying them in order to solicit happiness ; if you can manage 
your business in this intelligent manner, you will be considered 
wise. Fan-che further enquired regarding benevolence ? to which 
the sane replied, Benevolence consists in the maintenance of pure 
feeling, and in attending in the first instance to that wnich is diffi- 
cult in business ; whatever is most important in the cultivation of the 
mind, or has reference to the perfection of your nature, vigorously go 
forward in the prosecution of it, but with respect to the results that 
may fjjlow wait for their coming of themselves, and do not 
set your heart upon them as if you certainly expected them : when 
you maintain right feeling in this pure and unaffected manner, you 
will be considered benevolent. 

In the >JV ^§ ^£ ^l Pun-e-hwae-tsan, we have the following 
suggestion : *" That which is suitable in the duties of human life is 
near and easy of comprehension ; but those who do not understood 
the principles of things, are bent upon neglecting these and setting 
them aside, while they on the contrary attend to things which they 
ought not to regard. The doctrine of the Kwei Shins (spirits) is dark 
and difficult of comprehension : but those who do not understand the 
principles of things, are apt from their indistinctness to treat them 


with disiespect, or from their delusive character to trefit them veith loo 
ftiuch lamiiiarity ; but if a man can truly exert his strength upon that 
which is easil)'^ known in the duties of human life, and not bewilder nor 
delude himself with the incomprehensibilities ol the Kwei Shins, then 
he mii^'ht be considered wise. One mii,'ht infer from tliis statement, 
that Fan-che had perhaps some failing of this sort, which (/onfiicius 
wished to guard him against?" Another suq-gests ; " Jf what are 
called the Kwei Shins here, were not the correct and proper (s[)irits) 
mentioned in the sacrificia 1 laws, then why should the sage duect 
people to respect them : and if they were, why should he enjoin the 
removing of such to a distance ?" To which the answer is returned, 
*' The Kwei Shins which the sags speaks about here are undoubtedly 
the correct and proper spirits ; and he tells men to remove them to 
a distance, because they dwell in the dark and unseeii world ; and 
therefore we must treat them with stern dignity and not with undue 
familiarity. If they were not the correct and proper spirits, do you 
think the sage woald call them Kwei Shins ?" (Intimating that ia 

8uch case he would term them ^Q J^ wang leang, mischievous sprites 
and elves.) 

Another asked, "Does the respecting the Kwei Shins and keeping 
them at a distance, mean that a man knows there is such a prin- 
ciple, and therefore is able to respect them ; but that he is not deluded 
by them, and therefore is able to keep them at a distanat^?" To 
which the answer is given, "Men in their treatment of the Kwei Shins, 
ought certainly to respect and keep them at a distance ; when people 
can discern this principle clearly they will necessarily think thus. 
But the practice of the present generation, believing in and serving 

^-^ j^ Foo too, Buddha, in order to seek for happiness and gain, 
shews that they cannot remove them to a distance. For men have 
certainly the duties of human life, which they oiii;ht to perform ; but 
if they will not exert themselves to the utmost in these, and care for 
nothing but flattering and cajoUing the Kwei Shins (spirits), tii^y are 
to be considered unwise." 

In the 4th Book of Discourses and Conversations, 
and the lOth page, we have the following passage : 
-" Confucius was seriously indisposed, when Tsze-lo6 
(one of his disciples) asked if he should offer up 
prayers for him '? Confucius enquired, Is there any in- 
stance of such a thing ^ to which Tsze-loo replied. 
There is : an old epitaph says, we have prayed to the ^ 
wShins above, and to the jfl^ K'hes below ! Confucius 
rejoined, I have long been in the habit of praying." 

The Commentator on this passage says, '* To pray means, to pray 
to the Kwei Shins. Confuciui;, in enquiring whether there was any 
instance of such a thing ? meant to ask, whether there was any reason 
for it.^ Ari epitaph is made for the purpose of latnenting the dead, and 
detailing his actions ; above and below, meafi heaven and earth. The 



spirits which belong to heaven are called Shins, and those which bei 
long to earth are called K'hes. To pray, means, to repent of errors 
and to pass over to goodness, in order to solicit the protection of the 
Shins, If there were no reason for such a practice, then there would 
be no necessity for performing it ; Tsze-loo said there was : but in 
our opinion the sage had been guilty of no fault, and had no further 
goodness to which he could advance ; his former practices were cer- 
tainly in accordance with }|i^ tjfj invisible and intelligent beings, 
therefore he said, I have long been in the habit of praying. More- 
over, according to the Book of Ceremonies customary at the demise of 
learned men, it was usual, as soon as a master was sick, to offer prayers 
to the spirits of the five parts of the house ; and the attendants being 
at that time in great extremity, and their feelings not letting th^m 
rest, they were in the habit of praying without informing the 
patient; therefore Confucius did not directly oppose Tsze-loo's wish, 
but merely told him that there was no necessity for prayer." 

Ihe paraphrase on this passage is to the following effect : *' When 
Confucius was very much indisposed, and indeed dangerously ill, 
Tsze-loo asked his master, whether he wished him to offer up prayers 
to the Kwei Shins, in order to solicit their favour and protection. Con- 
fucius, wishing him to enquire more accurately into the reason of the 
ceremony, asked, whether according to the principles of reason there 
was any need of such a thing ? Tsze-loo, without understanding his 
master's meaning, replied that there was ; quoting in proof the words 

of an ancient epitaph, which says, we have prayed to the ^^ jjj^ 

celestial Shins above, and to the J^ p^ terrestrial K'hes below. Con- 
fucius said, Should there be any reason for such a practice, it is only 
when the worshippers repent of their faults, and remove to the way of 
goodness, in order to seek the protection of the Shins ; but in my every- 
day practice, I have always treated the Kwei Shins with respect, fear- 
ing lest I should inadvertently offend ; thus I have been in the habit 
of praying for a long time, and not only now when I am sick. Take 
this, and think over it." 

From the Jfi ^^ RW ^S Pun-e-hwae-tsan, we extract the fol- 
lowing : " The meaning of Confucius was, that those who pray, come 
with the feeling of penitence and contrition, in order to seek for happi- 
ness and protection : but with respect to myself, he added, I have 
never had need of these feelings, then how could I now employ this 
feeling of contrition, in order to pray .^ but I have all my life long 
honoured and reverenced the decree of Heaven, tremblingly anxious, 
lest I should offend against heaven and earth, and be ungrateful 

towards )jj^ *y-\ spiritual intelligences ; now 4)rayer is simply the 
encouragement of this feeling of reverence, and the maintenance of 
this feeling is with me not the work of yesterday ; why then should 
I now pray?- Hence, he said, I have long been in the habit of 

In the same book of the Discourses and Conver- 
sations, and at the 17th page, we have the following : 


Confucius said, '* In Yu I can find no flaw ; he was 
sparing in his common diet, but extremely filial in his 
conduct towards the Kwei Shins ; he wore vile clothing, 
but he was truly elegant in his apron and crown (used 
on sacrificial occasions) ; he dwelt in a mean abode, but 
he exerted his strength upon the ditches and water- 
courses ; in Yu I can find no blemish." 

The Commentator says, that "the word flaw, means, a crack ; and 
the idea of the sage is, that in pointing to his cracks, he had no remark 
to make. Sparing, means thin ; his being extremely filial in his 
conduct towards the Kwei Shins, means that he offered plenteous 
and pure sacrifices. His clothing, referred to his every-day clothing. 
The apron was a coverinu* for the knees, and was made of leather ; 
the crown was a mitre he wore, and both were employed on sacrificial 
occasions. The ditches and water-courses, were channels for water 
between the fields, for the purpose of fixing their boundaries, and for 
providing against drought and inundation. Whether he was liberal 
or sparing-, in every case he did that wiiich was suitable, therefore he 
had no flaw, that could be remarked upon. Hence the sage repeated 
his observation, in order to express his deeper admiration. Yang- 
she says. He vv'as sparing, in what he bestowed upon himself, and 
when he exerted diligence it was in the business of the people ; when 
he displayed liberality, it was in the ceremonies of the temple and court, 
thus he might be said to possess the empire, without seeming to 
possess it ; what blemish then could be found in him ?" 

The paraphrase runs thus : "Confucius said. When I examine into 
the sovereigns of antiquity, such as Yu, of the Hea dynasty, I can- 
not point out any blemish, that I could remark upon. For instance, 
when he provided himself with meat and drink, he was frugal and 
sparing ; but in sacrificing to the Kwei Shins of the ancestorial temple, 
he was most abundant and pure in his selection of victims and meat- 
offerings, to shew his filial piety, and induce them to accept his offer- 
ing. On common occasions, he studied coarseness ^nd vileness in 
his apparel, hut with regard to the apron and mitre used on sacrificial 
occasions, he exerted his utmost efforts to provide things of the most 
elegant 'iind, without the slightest degree of parsimony. In the abode 
in which he dwelt, he put up with a small and low edifice, but with 
respect to the ditches and water- courses among the people, he carried 
to the utmost the labour of arranging and managing, with the view of 
fixing the proper boundaries, and guarding against droughts and 
inundations. When it was necessary t© be economical, he was econo- 
mical ; and when liberality was called for, he was liberal : in each 
department he did what was requisite. With such a sovereign as 
Yu, 1 can truly find no fault." 

The critic says, that the Kwei Shins of this passage refer to the 
manes of ancestors. 

In the 6lh Book of Discourses and Conversations, 
and the 3rd page, we have another reference to the 
Kwei h>hins, as follows : 


" K'be-lo6 (or Tsze loo) enquired about servihg the 
Kwei Shins "? When Confucius said, Not being- able to 
serve men, how can you expect to serve the Kweis. 
He again asked about death, when the sage replied, 
Not being fully acquainted with life, how can )ou ex- 
p&ct to understand death.'* 

The Commentator says, that " K'he-loo asked about serving the 
Kwei Shins, with the view of knowing the object with which sacrificesi 
are offered ; moreover, death is a thing- which men cannot avoid, and 
consequently, we should not be ignorant of it ; both of these, there- 
fore, are important questions. Yet unless a man were sufficiehtly 
sincere and respectful, to enable him to serve men, he certainly 
would not be able to serve the Shtns ; also, unless a man traced 
things up to their original, and knew that whereby he obtained life, 
he certainly would not be able to revert to the end of things, and 
know the cause wherefore he should die. For the visible and invisi- 
ble worlds, together with the beginnintr and end of man, are originally 
not two principlfes ; but learning has its gradations, and we must not 
pverstep these ; therefore Confucius administered to him this cau- 
tion. Ching-tsze says. As the day and the night, so is ihe principle 
of life and death ; if a man knew the principle of life, he would know 
ihe principle of death ; and if a man could carry out the principle of 
serving men, he could also carry out the principle of serving the 
Kweis. Life and death, men and Kwels, are one and yet two, are two 
and yet one. Some have said, we do not know but that the philoso- 
pher's withholding this information from Tsz^-Ioq, was the most ef- 
fectual way of informing him." 

The paraphrase is as follows : " K'he-loo enquired regarding the 
Kwei Shins, that as it was proper for men to serve them, he should 
like to know the way in which we ought to do it. Confucius replied, 
(The service of) human beings and the Iv\vr\> (spirits) are one and the 
same ; the way in which we are to serve the Kwei Shins (or spirits) 
is precisely similar to that in which we ought to serve men. If 
amongst our parents and brethren, relations and superiors, we cannot 
carry out the feeling of respect and sincerity, in order to serve them, 
we shall be blamed by men in the visible, and by the Kweis (spirits) in 
the invisible world ; how then can we serve the Kweis, so as to induce 
them to approach and enjoy (the sacrifices we offer.) If you. Sir, 
wish to serve the Kwei Shins, yon have only to seek for the principl** 
in the serving of men, and that will be sufficient. He again enquired 
respecting death, which is what every man must come to, wishing to 
know the reason for which men die. Confucius said. Life and death 
are one and. the same ; the principle on which men die, is the same as 
that on which they live ; but if from the time of our birth, we cannot 
tell exactly how Heaven bestowed on us form, or conferred on us our 
nature ; if in these matters we are deficient, then living, we do not 
comply with the business for which we are sent here, nor dying, can 
we expect to rest peacefully ; how then can we anticipate the close of 
life, and know how we are to die. If you, Sir, wish to know all 
about death, you have only to strive to know all about life, and that 
will be sufficient." 


III a critical commentary on this passage, we have the following 
remarks: ** Nan-heen observes on the woids Kwei and Sliin, that, 
when taken together, that which advances and is inscrutable in its 
approach, is the Shin, while that which departs and does not return, 
js the Kwei ; speaking of them separtely, whatsoever in heaven, 

earth, hills, rivers, wind, and thunder, can be connected by the 5RC 
breath or spirit of nature, is always called Shin ; while ancestors and 
deceased parents, who are sacrificed to in the ancestorial temple, are 
all called Kwei ; using these words with reference to men and things, 
then, that which collects and lives, is the Shin, while tfiat which 
scatters and dies, is the Kwei ; using the words with reference to 

the human body, then the S^ soul, and ^j^ finer spirit, constitute 

the Shin, while the Vj^ ai;ima and the "^5 body, constitute the Kwei. 

The g^ ^^ Yu-lny says, that men must just understand these terms 
in a distinct and intelligent manner. If our sincerity and respect 
are not sufficient to serve met), then certainly w^e shall not be able 
to carry out our duty towards them, how much less can we serve 
the Shins (spirits) ! But if in serving our prince or parents, we 
manifest respect and sincerity to the utmost, and carry out this feel- 
ing in order to serve the Kwei Shins, then in sacrificing (to our an- 
cestors), we should do it as if they were present, and in sacrificing to 
th« outsidtt Siiius, we should do it as if they were present. If the 

saying, that when the 5|^ breath or spirit collects, then a man lives, 
and when it disperses, he dies, would fully illustrate the subject, 
then men would all under- tand it. But we should know that men 
have received a variety of principles from Heaven, which are certainly 
complet d, and by no means deficient ; but it is necessary to carry 
out these i)rinciples of life, in every instance without the least defect, 
and then when we die, the principle of life being exhausted, we may 
rei^ death without shame. This is what Chang-tsze calls, comply- 
ing with our ))roper business while w^e live, and resting peacefully 
when we die. The sage whejti abroad served the nobles, and 
at home his parents and elder brethren, while the service of the 
Kwei Shins was included in all these. Therefore he said, I have 
been in the habit of pnying for a long season. At fifty years of age 
he knew the decrees of Heaven, and of course the knowledge of death 
was therein included ; hence he said, When in the morning we hear 
of the right way, in the evening we may die, and rfflrt-^contented. 
From the visible he went on to tlie invisible, from the commencement 
of things he passed on to their termination ; in this he shewed his 
attention to order. But without beiiii? able to serve men, if we first 
wish to serve the Shins (sj^irits) ; and without knowing life, if we first 
wish to know death, this is like jumping over the forms at school. 
Confucius answered a * not can this,' with a * how can that ?' and a 
'not know this,' with a * how then know that ?' wishing Tsze-loo 
to follow the proper gradations in acquiring information, and not to 
look out for some royal road to knowledge. For it is in every-day 
concerns, and on common occasions, that this principle is universally 
apparent ; so that if you can carry out the principle of serving men 


and knowing' life, then you will find that the business of serving the 
Kweis and knowing death, is included therein ; therefore it is said, 
that they are not two principles. Being one and yet two, njeans, that 
althoui^'h men and Kweis (spirits), life and death, constitute but one 
principle, yet they differ in belonging severally to the visible and invi- 
sible world, with the beginning and end of things ; their being two 
and yet one, means, that although they differ in belonging to the up- 
per and nether worlds, and in being one at the commencement, and 
the other at the termination of existence, yet the principles which 
regulate them are by no means two." 

One Leu-she says, " The feeling with which Tsze-loo came to 
enquire was this, * Men I know, but the things which I do not know 
are the Kwei Shins (spirits) ; life I know, but that which I do not 
know is death.' Now the essence of right principle is not two-fold : 
if a man knows at all, lib knows all ; if he doubts in one thing, he 
doubts in every thing. Had Tsze-loo really known men, he would 
certainly not have come asking about the Kwei Shins (spirits) ; had 
he really known life, he certainly would not have come asking about 
death. But seeing him asking about the Kwei Shins, we may divine 
that he did not know men : and seeing him asking about death, we 
may divine that he did not know life. Confucius answering him by say- 
ing, *If you cannot serve men, how are you to serve the Kweis (spirits), 
and if you do not know life, how are you to know death,' was with a 
view to arouse him to reflection : and the instruction thus communi- 
cated to Tsze-loo, was undoubtedly a real lesson. The learned men 
of the present age, who think, that Confucius rejected the enquiries 
of Tsze-loo, are mistaken." 

One Yaou-she says, *' When one cannot serve men, how will he 
be able to serve the Kweis (spirits) ? suppose for instance, that one 
had parents here, and was not able to serve them while alive, how 
would he be able to serve them after they were dead." From which 
we see, that the Kweis here spoken of are the spirits of dead men. 

In looking over the above extracts, one cannot help 
being struck with the ease which the words Kwei and 
Shin are interchanged, and used the one for the other. 
Thus, when the disciple asked regarding the service of 
the Kwei Shins, the philosopher answered by referring 
only to the service of the Kweis ; while the commenta- 
tor again says, if a man be not sincere in the service of 
men, how can he serve the Shins, shewing that they 
are nearly synonymous. Further on, under the re- 
marks of Ching-tsze, we find men made antithetical to 
Kweis. The paraphrase also says, that (the service of) 
human beings and the Kweis are the same, and the way 
in which we are to serve the Kwei Shins, is precisely 
similar to that in which we are to serve our fellow men ; 
showing that in. the estimation of the writer the words 


could very safely be used the one for the other. But 
whether Kweis or Shins be used, it is evident from the 
whole strain of the passage, that spirits, disembodied 
spirits, and the spirits of dead men are intended. 

In the 5th book of Mencius, and on the 8th page, 
'* W^n-chang enquired of Mencius, saying, 1 beg to 
ask what is the meaning of introducing (a successor to 
the throne) to the notice of Heaven, and Heaven's re- 
ceiving him ; displaying him before the people, and the 
people's receiving him *? To this Mencius replied. 
When you set him to preside over the sacrifices, and 
the hundred Shins * enjoy them, this shews that Hea- 
ven accepts of him ; when you direct him to superintend 
affairs, and affairs become well-regulated, while the 
hundred families rest contented with him, this shews 
the people accept of him ; thus Heaven gives it to him, 
and men give it to him ; hence it is said, the emperor 
cannot take the empire and give it to any one." 

The paraphrase on this passaije is as follows : ** Wan-chang- said, 
The receiving of a person thus introduced and displayed, is a very 
mysterious affair, I beg to ask what is really meant by introducing 
a person to Heaven, and Hnaven's receiving him, or displaying such a 
one before the people, and the people's receiving him ? Mencius re- 
plied, The object on which the Kwei Shins settle, is the same with 
that on which Heaven settles ; when Yaou directed Shun to preside 
over the sacrifices, and the hundred Shins were gratified with the 
otfering and enjoyed it, what is that but introducing him to Hea- 
ven, anxL-Heaven's accepting of him ? when Yaou employed Shun 
to manage the government, and the hundred families were reformed 
by him, and rested contented with him, what is that but displaying 
him before the people, and the people's receiving him ? Heaven's 
accepting of him is the same as Heaven's giving the empire to him ; 
the people's accepting of him, is the same as man's giving it to him. 
It was Heaven and man that conjointly gave it to him, but Yaou 
himself could not have given the empire to him. Therefore it is 
said, the emperor could not give the empire to any one," 

The Critical Commentator says, '*when the Shins enjoy (the sacri- 
fice) and the people rest contented with any one's government, this is 
just Heaven's manifesting the fact of having given him the empire." 

Among the §3 3^4 Yu-Iuy we read the following. *' One asked 
what was meant by the hundred Shins enjoying (the sacrifice) ? to 
which the answer given was as follows : This is merely the male and 
Jemale principle of nature being harmonious, with the winds and rain 

* Julien calls these the " centum spiritus. 


being seasonaHe, which shews that the hundred Shins enjoyed (the 
sacrifice.) Another says, As for instance when Shun prayed for fair 
weather, and obtained fair weather; or when he asked for rain, and ob- 
tained rain, and so forth." 

Sin-k'hew-ming says, "Heaven's receiving him, means that Heaven 
gave him the empire : the people's receiving him, means also that Hea- 
ven gave it him : thus Heaven's giving it hira, refers to Heaven, 
and the people's giving it to him, also refers to Heaven." 

1q the above extract the only thing worthy of re- 
mark, is the writer's saying, that the hundred Shins en- 
joying the sacrifice is the same as Heaven's accepting 
of the worshippers ; which may be explained in the 
following manner. With Heaven rests, according to 
Chmese ideas, the disposal of events, as we are in the 
habit of ascribing these things to Providence ; but as 
the will of Providence, wiih us, cannot be ascertained 
except by results, so the will of Heaven can only be 
ascertained by events ; the hundred Shins who are 
sn[)posed to enjoy sacrifices, and to testify their appro- 
bo<tion of ihe conduct of the sacrificers, could only do so 
in accordance with the will of Heaven ; when there- 
fore the hundred Shins testify their acceptance of per* 
sons or services, by gmnlia^ favourable winds, and sea- 
sonable hhovvers, it is a testimony to men that Heaven 
has approved of their offerings ; hence it is said, the 
hundred Shins' accepting of the offering and enjoying 
it, what is this but Heaven's accepting of it ^ This 
does not, however, prove the identity of the hundred 
Shins with Heaven, any more than the approbation of 
the host of officers, attesting the coincidence of the 
sovereign, would prove their identity with that 

In the 7th book of Mencius, 5th page, we have the 
following : '' Mang-tsze said, the people of those who 
rule by force are sometimes affected by temporary de» 
light ; while the people of those who rule by moral 
influence feel their minds enlarged and satisfied. 

" If such a ruler puts any one to death, the people 
do not complain, or if he benefits the people, they do 
not seem to consider it a high act of merit -, the sub- 

r 41 

]ects of a virtuous ruler daily improve, and are not a- 
ware how it is brought about. 

"If the superior man does but pass through a region, it 
is renovated ; and wherever he j^ fixes his mind on a 
subject, 1^ he influences it in a mysterious manner. 
In his operations above and below, he moves in a man- 
ner similar to heaven and earth ; how can his im- 
provements be described as the mere mending of minor 
defects T 

The commentator on this passacre says, The superior man is the 
general appellation of a sage. ** If he does but pass through a place 
he reforms it," means that when in person the superior man passes 
through a region, the people of that region are without exception re- 
formed ; as when Shun ploughed at Leth-san, and the agriculturists 
all learned to yield the landmarks to each other ; and when he made 
pots on the banks of the Yellow river, and there was no complaint about 
the coarseness or porousness of the vessels. " If he fixes his mind on a 
subject, he influences it in a mysterious manner," means, that when 
the superior man fixes his mind and gives chief attention to a subject, he 

Wt Ajf influences it in a mysterious manner, that is perfectly inscruta- 
ble; as it is said of Confucius, that when he'set up the people, they were 
established, when he led them on, they were induced to follow, when 
he tranquillized them, th«y were induced to come to him, and when he 
a-oused them, they were rendered harmonious ; while no one could tell 
liow he produced those effects. It was the fullness of his virtuous 
attainments, which moved and acted simultaneously with the renova- 
tions of heaven and earth, and moulded the habits of a whole age. 
Far difi'erent from those who ruled merely by force, and only stopped 
«ip and mended a few cracks and leaks in the happiness of mankind. 
This is the way in which the principles of those who ruled by moral 
influence became great, and this should induce the learner to exert bis 
enind to the utmost. 

The paraphrase on this passage says, viewed in this light, how can 
one easily declare the fullness of the superior man's virtuous attain- 
meats. For whenever the superior man makes a temporary appli- 
cation of vigorous infliction, fostering care, or enlightened instruction, 
the people amongst whom he sojourns for a season are invariably re- 
novated, and he needs not remain a long time among them, before 
they become in a high degree well regulated. And whenever the 
superior man bends his attention towards carrying out his principles of 
vigour, mildness, or moral culture, in every instance in which he 
fixes his mind, and gives chief attention to the subject, no sooner 
does he conceive the intention, than he is enabled to bring things into 

their proper order, so ^ jj]^ extremely mysterious and inscrutable 
is the influence he exerts. Now heaven and earth in its renovations 
16 mysterious, and in this way it completes the work of overshadow- 
ing and upholding all things. So also those who rule by moral in- 



fluence are ilj^mysterious in their renovations, and diffuse the benefits 
of moulding a whole age ; thus the fulness of their virtuous attain-r 
ments move and act exactly in uniformity with heaven and earth. 
How then can their work be merely such as the little mending of 
cracks and leaks, which those who rule by force only effect. ; 

The critical commentary on this passage contains the following 
remarks : To renovate means, to renew and transform men : the time 
of passing through a place is very brief, and yet when it is said, that 
by merely passing through a place the superior man renovates man- 
kind, it intimates that they receive a little of his influence and aie im- 
mediately reformed ; it is not necessary for him to remain long in order 
to produce this, which shews the rapidity of the transformation. 
The word " fixing the mind" refers only to a slight degree of 

attention, as if it were said, the heart desires to have it so. ]\\^ 

Shin here means, )||^ xy ^> '^J !J^IJ mysterious and inscrutable ; 
the rapidity of the influence exerted by the sage is like the intimate 
connection between shadow and substance, noise and sound. Where- 
ever he fixes his thoughts he produces a mysterious effect, means 
that he merely wishes a certain result, and the result is instantly pro- 
duced ; as it is said of the good man, that he follows out his desires, 
and good order immediately follows : the sincere feeling is present 
here, and the movement is apparent there ; without knowing how it 
is brought about, it comes to pass spontaneously* [♦ 

In the above passage, then, according to the com- 
mentators, the word Shin is to be translated mysteri- 
ous and inscrutable. Some persons, perhaps, would wish 
to render the term by the word " divine," but it must 
be remembered that the signification of this word 
is " appertaining to the true God, or a false god ; pEirtak- 
ing of the nature of God, or proceeding from him ; ex- 
cellent in the highest degree, and super-human ;" in 
none of which senses is |t^ Shin here employed by the 
Chinese, but in that of being beyond comprehension, as 
referring to the extraordinary results of moral power in 
the case of the superior man. 

There is another passage in the 7th Book of Men- 
cius, and the 27th page, which we have already glanced 
at, l3ut it deserves a more attentive consideration. 

Haou-sang Pih-hae enquired, saying, What sort of: a^ 
man is Yuh-ching-tsze *? Mang-tsze said. An araiabl^ 
man, and a man really possessed of excellence. The. 
disciple enquired, Wh:it is meant by being amiable 
and real 1 To which the philosopher replied, The desir- 
able person can be considered amiable : one who pos- 


sesses virtuous qualities in himself, can be called a really 
good man : he who possesses them in all their full- 
ness and repletion, may be termed excellent ; he who 
is replete with goodness, and displays it with splen- 
dour, may be called magnificent ; he who is thus mag- 
nificent and capable of renovating others, may be deno- 
minated sagelike ; whilst he who is sagelike and not to 
be comprehended by othets, may termed mysterious. 

On this latter sentence, the commentator Ching-tsze remarks, The 
sagelike and inscrutable may be denominated the most mysterious 
quality of the sage, which cannot be fathomed by common minds. 
It does not mean that above the rank of the sage there is another class 
of mysterious persons. Yin- she said, From the amiability which is 
desirable, up to the sagelike virtues, and the mysteriousness which 
cannot be penetrated, though higher and lower in degree, there is 
but one principle ; when you eXfiand this principle, and arrive at the 
state of mysteriousness, then there is no name by which it can be de- 

The paraphrase on this passage runs thus : the man who is merely 
sagelike, and 6lill capable of being comprehended, is not equal to the 

j[j^ mysterious person. But the man who is sagelike and incompre- 
hensible, his infinite Vntue being pure in that which is not visible, 
while intentions and imitations are all forgotten ; his immense attain- 
ments being diffused to an unlimited degi-ee, while sound and colour 
are all lost sight of, this is to be without any fixed point or settled 
form, mysterious and not to be penetrated. This is what is called the 
mysterious person. 

The critical commentary on the word Shin says, The sage is not 

to be comprehended, therefore he is called jfj^ mysterious ; it does 
not mean that he is like the Shins or expanders of nature. 

Thus we have gone through all the passages in 
which Shin occurs in the text of the Four Books, and 
find that it means, in some instances, the expanding prin- 
ciple of nature, the energies of the male and female 
principle, or a sort of anirha mundi ; and in certain in- 
stan(ies, the genii df hills and rivers, who are supposed 
to have some influence over wind and rain ; we also 
find it used as aii adjective, in. which it means inscru- 
tably intelligent arid nay sterious. Some writers would 
perhaps in all these instances render the term by god^ 
gods, godlike and divine, but the sense put upon the 
term by the commentators is very different, and we 
have seen nothing in the Four Books, as yet, that would 
warrant us ia adopting such phraseology in the trans- 


lation of the term, because of its conveying ideas to an 
English reader whieh the Chinese did not conceive of 
when using it. 

Let us now turn to a more fertile and authentic 
source of information, in order to discover the real sen- 
timents of the Chinese ; a source from which the Con- 
fucian philosophers derived their information, and a 
foundation on which their whole system was built, we 
mean the Five Classics. 

In the first book of the Shoo-king-, or Historical 
Classic, and 1 1th page, we have an account of Shun's 
doings, on ascending the throne, as follows : 

" He then offered the ^ corresponding sacrifice to 
J2 f^ the Supreme Ruler, he presented a g pure of- 
fering to the six honoured objects, he ^ looked to- 
wards and worshipped the hills and rivers, while he 
universally included the host of jjj^ Shins." 

The commentator, in explaining the word ^^ " corresponding sa- 
crifice," says, that the 5[]5 border sacrifice was that which was com- 
monly offered to Heaven, but when it was necessary to sacrifice and 
make an announcement to Heaven, out of the usual course, the cere- 
monies used were similar to those employed on occasion of the border 

sacrifice, therefore such an offering was called ^^ the correspond- 
ing sacrifice : as in the Great Oath, on occasion of Woo-wang's at- 
tacking Shang-wang, the regulation enacted, that whenever the em- 
peror wished to go abroad, the offering presented should be called ^ 
i^ Ju *m ^^® corresponding sacrifice to the Supreme Ruler. The 

word rendered i]J3g a pure offering conveys the idea of purity of in- 
tention, iu order to induce acceptance of the offering. With regard 
to the honoured ones, the commentator says, that those which were 
honoured by sacrifices were six ; viz. the four seasons, heat and cold, 
the sun, moon, and stars, with the spirit that presided over droughts 
and inundations. The hills and rivers, referred to above, mean the 
famous hills and great rivers of the country ; such as, the five moun- 
tains and four principal streams of China. Shun turned towards 
these in sacrificing, therefore it is said, that he looked towards them. 
Universally, means all around ; the host of Shins, refer to the 
(genii of) mounds and banks, with (the manes of) the ancient sages, &c. 
The whole passage means, that when Shun had attended to the fune- 
ral obsequies of Yaou, and observed the celestial phenomena, he sa- 
crificed to the Shin and the K'he, above and below, in order to inform 
them of his having taken on himself the reins of government. 

The paraphrase on this passage says, that Shun having received 


the government, became the lord of the hundred Shins of the invisible 
world, and could not allow himself to neglect the business of sacri- 
fice and announcement. On this account he performed the ceremo- 
nies usual on such occasions. There was that High Imperial One, the 
Supreme Ruler, most honourable and without compare, to be sacrifi- 
ced to ; and although it was not the usual period for offering the ^ 
border sacrifice, or sacrifice to Heaven, }et the ceremonies were the 

same, and therefore he presented a ^ corresponding sacrifice. 
This was the ceremony used in venerating Heaven. With respeet to 
the six objects of honour, vir. the four seasons, heat and cold, the 
sun, moon, and stars, with drought and inundation, seeing that they 
ought to be sacrificed to, he manifested towards them a pure intention, 
in order to induce acceptance, and did not let it drop into a mere 
empty ceremony ; thus he carried out the feeling of venerating Hea- 
ven, to reach to 5c Iff ^^^ celestial Shins. The famous hills and 
great rivers, are such as the five mountains and four principal 
streams ; the Shins presiding over them are distantly scattered in va> 
rious places, and Shun could not personally proceed to their localities; 
thus he looked towards the regions where they were, and sacrificed to 
them; his contemplating them, was just the same as his personally 
visiting them ; thus he carried out the feeling of honouring Heaven, 

and applied it to the j^ )Ijf5 terrestrial K'hes. With respect to the 
(genii of) mounds and banks, with (the manes of) emperors and phi- 
losophers of successive gtnerations, who had merit among the people, 
and were recorded in the sacrificial books, to every one of these he sa- 
crificed and announced on all sides, without neglecting any ; this was 
carrying out the feeling of venerating Heaven, and extending it to the 

yV j^ manes of men. Thus he sacrificed to more than one Shin, 
and performed more than one kind of ceremooy, while the object he 
had in view, of informing them of his having assumed the reins of go- 
vernment, was one and the same. 

In the above extract, it is evident that the word 
Shin refers to the manes of departed emperors and phi- 
losophers, whose tombs were extant, and is confined to 
what the paraphrase calls J\^ )^ manes of deceased 
persons ; while the Supreme Ruler to whom the new 
sovereigQ first paid adoration is described as that Im- 
perial One, most honourable, and without compare. 

On the 19th page of the same book, we have the in- 
structions of the emperor to Kwei, regarding music, 
tne effect of which was said to be " to cause the jTj^ 
Shins and men to be harmonious ;" the commentator 
on this passage says, that when music is in harmony, it 
may be played up in the court, or brought forward at 
the time of sacrifice, and in the ancestorial temple, and 


both Shins and men would h^ harmonized. 

The critical commentator, on this passage, says, that when such 

music i^ played up, at the time of the jfp border sacrifice, or in 

the ^3 ancestorial temple, it theA moves heaven and earth, and causes 
the manes of ancestors and departed parents to descend and approach, 
thus the Shins are in every case agreeable j and when sttch music is 
played up in the court, then it distils through the host of princes, and 
renders cordial the various officers, and men are without exception 

harmonious. Thus it appears, that the Shin here are the y^JW 
celestial expanders, who accept of the border sacrifice to Heaven, and 
the manes of departed ancestors, who enjoy the ofFeHngs presented in 
the ancestorial temple. 

In the 23rd page of the same book, we have the pas- 
sage quoted by Kang-he, and already referred to ; 
where speaking of Yaou, he is said to be ^1^75 ^^^ 
sagelike and inscrutably intelligent ; the commentator 
tells us, with reference to the words here employed, 
that the emperor, on account of his greatness of mind 
and capacity for reforming mankind, was called sage- 
like ; and on account of his sagelike qualities^ which 
could not be comprehended, he was called j^ inscru- 
tably intelligent ; which idea the paraphrase lays out 
thus ; on account of the unconstrainedness of his ac- 
tions, and because he reformed all those to whom he 
applied his mind, he was called ^ sagelike ; while on 
account of his mysterious influence that could not be 
traced, which enabled him to exhaust every thing 
which he examined into, he was called jf^ inscrutably 

On the 29th page of the same book, we have the fol- 
lowing dialouge between the Emperor Shun and the 
Great Yu, on occasion of the former's proposing, that 
the latter should take charge of the government ; 

'Tu said, Repeatedly prognosticate among the merito- 
rious officers, and make use of those who possess fa- 
vourable omens. To which the emperor replied, Oh 
Yu ! the official prognosticators first make up their 
minds to an affair, and then commit it to the decision 
of the great tortoise ; now my mind is already made 
up ; on enquiry of my counsellors they are all agreed ; 
the Kwci Shins also corhply ; while the divination by 


straws and tortoise-shells, harmoniously coincides ; in 
divining we ought not to repeat the process, when we 
have obtained a favourable answer. Yu made obei- 
sance with his head to the ground, and steadily declin- 
ed the honour ; when the emperor said, Do not decline, 
you aloAe are suited to the station." 

The Kwei Shin above referred to are the usual objects of worship^^ 
before whom prognostications were ma(3e, in order to ascertain what 
was to be done ; while the result of the prognostications being fa- 
vourable, was supposed to indicate the assent of the Kwei Shins to 
the scheme. The paraphrase says, *' the lucky or unlucky omens 
of the Kwei Shin may be ascertained from the agreement or non-a- 
greement of the people with the measure. Now then that the peo- 
ple's minds are compliant and agreeable, it is evident that the Kwei 
Shin are favourable. 

On the next page we meet with the title of ^[^ |^ 
the mysterious ancestor, which refers to the emperor 

On the 3 1st page of the sain6 book, we have the 
following passage : 

" For thirty days, the people of Meaou resisted the 
imperial commands. Yih at that time assisted with 
his advice the co-emperor Yu, saying, It is virtue alone 
that affects Heaven, and there is no distance to which 
its influence does not extend. Fullness calls for dimi- 
nution, while humility obtains additions ; this is the 
way of Heaven. When the emperor Shun formerly 
dwelt at Leih-san, he went out into the fields, and dai- 
ly cried and lamented before the compassionate Hea- 
vens, regarding his want of success with his parents : 
he took their faults on his own person, and charged 
himself with their delinquencies ; being at the same 
tim€ respectfully cautious in business. When he ap-. 
peared before his father Koo-sow, he was thoroughly 
impressed with veneration and awe : until Koo-sow 
was also induced sincerely to comply with virtue. 
l^ow he who is extremely harmonious and sincere, can 
influence the Shins, how much more these people of 
Meaou '?^ Yu made obeisance on hearing these excel- 
lent words, and said. Good ! he then withdrew his sol- 
diers in battle array ; while the emperor extensively 
diffused his accomplished virtue, causing the staves, 


and feathers to be brandished on both steps of his hall, 
and in seventy days the people of Meaou came to 

The jfl^ ^^^"^ ^hovQ epoken of are the Jfjif @g intelligent spirits 
and manes of departed ancestors. The word does not refer to Koo- 
sow, who was not dead at that time, and therefore could not be a 
Shin. The paraphrase has the following remarks ; " what men are 
most deficient in is sincerity, if we could exercise sufficient truthful- 
ness to influence those around us, then to the utmost possible extent, 
even to the Kwei Shins in the invisible world, we should be able to 
affect and induce them to come, how much more these people of 

Meaou ? Thus the )[l^ Shins of this passage are the Kwei Shins, 
manes of ancestors and spirits of hills and rivers, who may be brought 
near by the sincere feeling of sacrificers. 

In the 3d book of the Shoo-king, and at the 7th 
page, we read as follows : " The Sovereign of Hea 
has obliterated all traces of virtue, and commenced a 
system of cruelty, in order to oppress you people of the 
various states ; while you people of the various states 
being involved in these wicked inflictions, and unable 
to endure their bitterness and poison, have unitedly 
announced your innocence to the upper and nether jjjl^ 
Shins and 1^ K'hes. Now Heaven's plan is to bless 
the good and curse the bad, therefore has Heaven sent 
down calamity on the sovereign of Hea, in order to dis- 
play his iniquity " 

The Shin and K'he, in the above passage, are the celestial Shins^ 
and terrestrial K'hes, who are appealed to by the. people in seasons 

of misfortune ; called also the Jj^ J(|^ Kwei Shin, (by the Commen- 
tator,) to whom the people look up for deliverance out of calamity. 
The paraphrase says, that the people, feeling the extremity and bitter- 
ness of their misery, complained of their sad condition to the Shins in 
heaven above, and to the K'hes on earth below, expecting that high 
Heaven would (through their intercessions) deliver and save them. 

The next sentence of the Shoo-king, is as follows : 
" Therefore 1, the insignificant one, having received 
Heaven's decree to display its terribleness, do not dare 
to spare, (the sovereign of Hea) ; I have now ventured 
to use a sombre-coloured victim (in sacrifice), whilst 
I presumed to announce clearly to the high Heavens, 
and to the |l^ )q Shin how, making known the 
offences of Hea. Moreover, I intreated the chief sage, 
(E-yin) to exert his strength with me, that I might, in. 


tsonj unction with you people, implore a prolon§;ation 
of the celestial decree in our favour." 

The Shin how, according to the commentator, means 
the )^ jt empress Earth, which is associated in the 
Chinese mind, ^5^ with imperial Heaven, here called 
Jt5c ^^8^ Heaven, in the management of human 
affairs. 1^ Shin is therefore, in this connection, an 
adjective, qualifying )j5 how, and the phrase may be 
rendered the spiritual or intelligent empress (of earth.) 

On the 10th page of the 3rd book, we have the fol- 
lowing passage : 

"E yun said. Oh yes ! the first prince of the Hea dy- 
nasty encouraged the virtuous principles within him, 
and corsequently escaped celestial calamities, while the 
Kweis and Shins of the hills and rivers were universal* 
iy tranquil ; even to the birds and beasts, the fishes 
and tortoises, there was universal compliance (with the 
dictates of their nature) : but Kee, the later descen- 
dant of that ancient prince, does not conform to such 
an example ; so that Imperial Heaven has sent down 
calamities, and borrowed our T'hang's help, with 
whom now rests the decree of Heaven. Hea practiced 
the things for which he may be opposed, first at Ning- 
teaou ; our undertakings commenced at Po." 

The paraphrase on this passage says, that in the time of Yii, the 
virtuous founder of the Hea dynasty, the Kwei Shins of the hills and 
rivers severally rested content with the usual course, enjoying their 
sacrifices, and thus were universally tranquil. From this we see, that 
the Kwei Shins intended were those that presided over hills and 
rivers, and exerted their influence in promoting disturbance or tran- 
quillity, according as the princes of the time were virtuous or 

On the 1 3th page of the same book, we have a refe- 
rence to the Jl 'JT jjil|l flK upper and nether celestial 
Shins and terrestrial K'hes, which is similar in mean- 
ing to the quotation from the 7th page. 

On the 17th page of the same book, we have the 
following : 

" E-yun again announced to the king saying, Oh yes ! 
Heaven has no particular family, which it takes into 
near connection with itself, but it takes into near rela- 



tionship tho3e who are able to manifest due respact ; 
the people have no single individual whom they per- 
petually regard, but they regard those who are benevo- 
lent. The Kweis and Shins have no person from whom 
they exclusively accept sacrifices, but they accept of 
those who are al3le to manifest sincerity. How diffi- 
cult then is it to occupy the imperial throne !" 

The comittentator says, -' the terms respect, beaevolence, and sin- 
cerity are severally employed with reference to what is considered of 
most importance to each one separately. In this view of it, Heaven 
must be treated with respect ; Heaven is that to which belongs the 

^E fitness of things, therefore whether moving or at rest, speaking 
or being silent, we must not allow ourselves to indulge the least par- 
ticle of disrespect. So also the people must be treated with benevo- 
lence, for what should the people look up to, unless to their prince ; 
■while the destitute, widows, orphans, and solitary persons ought all 
to be compassionated by the prince. In like manner, the Kwei 
Shins must be treated with sincerity ; for without sincerity there wilj 

be 1)0 3® thing (present at sacrifices) ; but wheij sincerity is mani- 
fested on our parts, the Shins on their part will make approaches 
to us. 

The paraphrase on this passage is as follows : E- yun having in- 
formed the king of the duty of regarding the latter end of things, still 
found his mind ill at ease. He therefore a second time announced to 
the king saying, Oh yes ! a sovereign is the Son of Heaven, and the 

lord both of the J^ people and the ffl^ Shins. Heaven is elevated 
on high, is most honourable, and has no particular family to which it 
is attached, but the prince should manifest reverence in order to keep 
himself upright ; thus whether at motion or at rest, whether speaking 
or silent, he should always feel as if Heaven were present surveying 
his actions; then his mind would be in unison with Heaven, and Heaven 
would be present with him, and take him into relationship. With res- 
pect to the common people, they are either inclined to or averse from 
a pri nee : there is no particular person to whom they are attached, 
but they attach themselves to those who possess benevolence : if you 
soQthe and compassionate the wretched and distressed, when each one 
becomes a recipient of your bounty, they will all love to acknowledge 
and submit to you. The Kwei Shins are neither seen or heard, how 
can they be supposed constantly to accept of sacrifices ? but they do 
accept of the sacrifices of those who are extremely sincere: when 
the animal spirits are consolidated and collected, then the thoughts 
"will be invariably true, and the Shing will of themselves come and en- 
joy the sacrifice. Viewing it in this light, when a prince occupies 
the celestial throne, he ought not only to unite with the heart of Hea- 
ven above, but in the visible world, with respect to all the people, 
and in th« invisible world, with respect to the Kwei Shins, he should 
always have somethinjf wherewith to steady his mind. Bit if he is 


destitute of respect, benevolence, and sincerity, then Heaven will re- 
ject him, the people will rebel against him, and the Shin& Will spue 
him out df their mouths. How difficult then is his position ! 

In the above passage the Kwei fehiiis referred to are 
the usual expanders and contracters of nature, jwho are 
supposed to accept of or reject sacrifices, according to 
the sincerity of the worshipper : the pritice is there-^ 
fore Exhorted to the practice of sincerity, iu order to 
secure the acceptance 6f sacrifices, and the consequent 
obtaining of winds and «howers» And yet it is sinj^U- 
lar, that while he is directed to look up to the Kwei 
Shins for acceptance, he should be called the lord of the 
||^ Shins, as well as of the ^ people. This is cer- 
tainly an atioinolous view of the matter. But we shall 
be able to account for it, if we consider, that according 
to Chinese notions, it is ^ 11^ the decree of heaven that 
fixes the individual or family on the throne ; once fixed, 
the emperor, as the 5^ ^son of heaven, becomes the su- 
perintendent both of the Shins and the people, appoint- 
ing the one as much as the other to their respective 
offices, and looking to the Shins for doing their part 
in giving favourable seasons, as he does to the people 
to contribute their quota towards the public support ; 
thus it is that the emperor may be lord of the Shins, 
and yet look to them for their acceptance of sacrifices. 
Some are of opinion, however, that the words lord 
of the Shins, should be understood with reference to the 
act of sacrificing, in -vrhich the Shins are invited as 
guests to a feast, while the sacrificer, as the host, asks 
them to partake of the entertainment provided for them. 

On the 19th page of the same book, we have follow- 
ing passage : 

E-yun having given over the government to his 
sovereign, was about to annoutice his retirement, and 
therefore set forth an admonition regarding virtue, say- 
ing, "Alas ! Heaven is hard to be calculated on ; its de- 
cree is not constantly fixed in one family ; if a prince 
can be constant in his virtue, he can then preserve 
his hold of the throne • but if his virtue is not con- 
stant, the nine provinces will be lost to him. The 


last sovereign of Hea could not be constant in his vir- 
tue, but was disrespectful to the fjj^ Shins and oppres- 
sive to the people ; thus imperial Heaven would not 
protect him, but looked about, throug^h all quarters, for 
one who could open and lead out the celestial decree, 
thus carefully seeking* for one possessed of single- 
eyed virtue, that he might be appointed lord of the 
Shins ; then I, whh T'hang, both possessing this sin- 
gle-eyed virtue, were able to gratify the mind of Heaven, 
and receive its bright decree, in order to obtain the 
hosts of the nine provinces ; thus we altered the mode 
of reckoning the year adopted by the Hea dynasty." 

The commentator on this passage tells us, that lord of the SMns, 
means lord of all the Shins ; which agrees with the passage above 
quoted, regarding the emperor being lord both of the Shins and the 
people. This imaginary precedence of the son of heaven to the 
hundred Shins is sometimes exercised even in the present day,' when 
the emperor bestows on various Shins new titles, or degrades others 
from their previously appointed dignity, to induce them to grant 
still more favourable seasons, or to punish them for some neglect in 
this particular. (Though the word lord is capable of being rendered 
host, and it is possible that it refers only to the emperor's presiding as 
host at the sacrifices to which the Shins are invited to attend as guests.) 
It reems also that a ruler must be very careful in his conduct towards 
invisible beings, as a former sovereign is said to have been rejected 
by Heaven, on account of his contemptuous treatment of the Shins, 
as well as his oppressive conduct towards the people ; inasmuch as 
the customary rites being withheld from the Shins is as repugnant 
to the fitness of things, as the people would feel the being debarred 
from privileges is opposed to equity. 

In the 3d book, and 28th page, we have the word 
f^ Shin, qualifying )^ prince, where the speaker 
says, " I reflect upon our former )f[|^ fp intelligent 
prince, labouring in behalf of your ancestors : and 1 
am thus greatly assisted in nourishing you, because I 
look upon you in the light of their descendants." In 
this passage, we are evidently to look upon Shin as an 
adjective, and in conformity with a former passage, 
wherein the qualification it refers to is a perfection of 
wisdom, not to be appreciated by the vulgar, must 
translate it inscrutable/ intelligent. 

In the 3d book of the Shoo-king, and the 26th page, 
we have the following ; " When by too frequent repe- 


tition contempt is brought upon sacrifices, this may 
be considered disrespectful : and when ceremonies are 
over-burdensome, they result in confusion ; in such 
cases the service of th« Shins will be difficult." 

On this passage the commentator says, Sacrifices abhor a too 
frequent recurrence ; if by such constant repetition they are underva- 
lued, this will result in a want of respect. Ceremonies should not b« 
burthensome ; when they are annoyingly troublesome, they are likely 
to produce confusion ; neither of these comport with the way in which 
we should hold intercourse \v ith the Kwet Shins. The customs of 

the Shang dynasty, at that time led men to f^J ^ over-esteem the 
Kwei, and Kaou-tsung, (the reigning monarch addressed in the above 
sentence) could not perhaps extricate himself from the bondage of 
custom; thus in the ceremonies used in the service of the Shins, he 
was apt to fall into error. His progenitor had already guarded him 
against, either profuseness or familiarity in sacrificing, and here Foo- 
yue, endeavours to point out his faults and correct them. 

The paraphrase on this passage is as follows : With respect to 
the service of the Shins, this also is according to the course approved 
by Heaven. Sacrifices, however, have originally a fixed period, and 
if you do not observe their proper number and order, but err in a too 
common repetition, this may be called disrespectful. Ceremonies 
also have a settled number, but il you seek to have them more com- 
plete and elegant than ordinary, then you will err in being over-bur- 
thensome, and thus convert them into a mingled confusion. When 
disrespect and confusion prevail, will it not be difficult to serve the 
Shins ? This is a caution addressed to Kaou-tsung, on account of 
his prevailing errors, and is also one of the ordinances of Heaven. 
In the service of the Shins, to respect and keep them at a distance, is 
the height of intelligence. Familiarity and confusion, however, shew 
the presence of selfish desires, and is not the way approved by Hea- 
ven : how can a man thus serve the Shins 1 therefore the caution is 
administered. The principles of high Heaven, are perfect : if minis- 
ters invariably respected and complied with them, the people would 
in every case submit to good government. 

In the above extracts, we perceive the usual inter- 
change of the words Kwei and Shin, as, though they 
were synonimous ; we caimot fail to observe, also, a 
recurrence of the irreligious spirit of the Chinese phi- 
losophers, which makes them so averse to a too fre- 
quent observance of sacrifices, or to an annoying re- 
petition of the ceremonies used on such occasions ; os- 
tensibly with a view of keeping up the dignity of the 
olservances, but really to draw off people's minds from 
an overweening attachment lo invisible beings. The 
whole teaches us in what a secondary rank the 


Kwei Shins were held, and that keepitig them at a dis- 
tance was considered the height of intelligence. 

In the 3rd book of the Shoo-king, and the 44th p^ge, 
we read as follows : 

" Now the people of the Yin dynasty rob and plun- 
der the pure and perfect Sacriticial animals, which 
should be offered to the Shins and the K'hes ; thesd 
they are allowed to secrete and devour, without any 
calamitous visitation." 

The commentator^ referring to the animals oflTered to the SMhs and 
K'hes, speaks of them as the things used iii sacrifice to heaven and 
earth, because the Shins are those which belong to heaven, and the 
K'hes those which belong to earth; hence the Chinese are in the habit 
of considering the celestial Shins and the terrestrial K'hds, a$ the 
recipients of sacrifices presented to heaven and earth ; this does not, 
however, imply, that the Shins and the K'hes are synonimous with 
heaven and earth. 

In the 4th book, and 4th page, we tead, 
" Therefore I, the insignificant one. Fa, looking at 
the defalcation of you friendly states and high princes 
from Shang, am enabled to form an estimate of the 
mode of government adopted by that dynasty ; bat I 
perceive that IShow, (the tyrant of that race,) has no 
feeling of remorse, sitting at his ease, without serving 
the Supreme, or the Shins and K'hes, while he neglects 
the manes of his ancestors, and does not sacrifice to 
them: the sacrificial animals and meat-offerings, are 
all given over to villainous thieves ; while he says^ I 
have got the people under me, and the decree of Hea- 
ven in my favour ; and there is no one to check him 
for his insolence." 

■ i'^he cOtnttlefitator on this passage says, That the tyraftt Show had 
•set aside the sacrifices due to the Supreme Ruler, the hundred Shins, 
and the manes of ancestors j while the paraphrase lays it out thus, 
** Show was dissolute and careless, sitting on his heels, and dwell- 
ing at ease, while he considered the sacrifices that should be ofiered 
to Heaven and ancestors, as of no iniportance, not serving the Su- 
preme, nor the celestial Shins» and terrestrial K'hes, while he depriv- 
ed his ancestors of the accustomed sacrifices.". 

In the abdvig passage, we see that the Supreme 
Ruler !g tnentioned distinctly and chiefly, while the 
celestial Shins and K*hes, with the manes of ancestors 
are put last. 


In the same book, and the 1 5th page, we] have ano- 
ther reference to the Shins. 

*' Only may you Shins be enabled' to' assist me in 
settling the millions of the people, and 'doj not bring 
disgrace on your Shin-ships." 

. The paraphrase lays out the above passage, thus': Onjy may you, 
the Shing of heaven and earthy the hills and rivers, perhaps be ena- 
bled, in the' invisible world, to afford me some assistance, and grant 
that this one effort may succeed, in order to help and put to rights the 
m^'llions of the people now immersed in calamity ; then the peo- 
ple's h&ppiness would be the result of the Shin's bestowment. But 
should it not b* so, and these confusions be not repressed, then ouv 
disgrace would be to the disgrace of the Shins. 

The Shins above mentioned, are those which belong 
to heaven and earth, the hills and rivers : the form of 
expression would intimate that there was some power 
above these, and that it was possible they might be un- 
able to grant the supplicator the needful assistance ; in 
which case he says, they would bring disgrace on them- 
selves, by allowing tyranny to prevail, and by not aid- 
ing the patriotic efforts of the enterprising Woo-wang. 

in the same book, 32d page, we have a remarkable 
passage, where Chow-kung, apprehending lest Woo- 
w^ng, who was then sick, should die at too early an 
age, before he had consolidated the empire, there- 
fore supplicates the manes of his departed ancestors, to 
take him Chow-kung;, instead of his nephew Woo- 
wang, on the ground that he was more benevolent and 
dutiful, and could render the spirits of his progenitors 
more service in the invisible world, than could Woo- 
wang ; the passage runs thus ; 

" I am benevolent and obedient to my progenitors, 
and possess many abilities and talent^J, with which I 
could serve the Kwei Shins ; but your grand-nephew 
(Woo-wang) is not like me, Tan, in these numerous ac- 
complishments and abilities, fitted for the service of 
the Kwei Shins." 

It is evident that th^ Kwei Shins here refer chiefly 
to the manes of his ancestors, who, the supplicator 
thinks, might be benefited by his service in the invisi- 
ble world ; and therefore, he recommends himself to 
their notice as an accomplished minister, that could aid 


them considerably by his unremitting attentions. He 
says this, not in the spirit of boasting, but with the 
view of inducing the Kwei Shins to take him, or to ef- 
fect his removal from the present life, in the stead of 
his nephew Woo-wang. This act is lauded by the 
Chinese as an act of intense benevolence and devoted- 
ness. " For a good man some would even dare to die." 

In the same book, and 42d page, we have the fol- 
lowing : 

'' You alone tread in the footsteps, and eultivate the 
virtues of your great predecessor, for this you have 
long had a good name, being respectful and cautious, 
filial and reverential towards both Shins and men ; I 
admire your virtue, and should say. That you have 
been liberal, and not unmindful of your ancestors. 
The Sapreme Ruler, has constantly enjoyed your offer- 
ings, while the lower people, have been carefully sooth- 
ed ; I, therefore, appoint you to be an archduke, to 
superintend this eastern territory of Hea." 
, The Shins above spoken of, are those which are sa- 
crificed to, and consequently mean the celestial Shins 
and the terrestrial K'hes, with the gerii of the hills 
and rivers„ 

In the fifth book, and 42d page, we have a singular 
passage, as follows : 

" But our kings of the Chow dynasty, have well 
succeeded in obtaining the hosts of the people, and are 
equal to the burden of sustaining virtue, so that they 
can preside at the sacrifices offered to the Shins and to 
Heaven ; while Heaven has taught our princes, and 
led them on to excellence, selecting them as the pro- 
per objects on whom to bestow the decree once esta- 
blished in favour of Ym, and to rule over you nume- 
rous states." 

In the ^ j^ 3 1^ Familiar Explanation of the 
Shoo-king, the phrase '^ :^ Bj^ ^ " presiding at the 
sacrifices offered to the Shins and to Heaven," is? thus 

paraphrased ; oT ^ Wl If ^M Jb ^ W # jt 
3E, can superintend (trie sacrifices offered to) the Shins 


and the Heavens, and be the host of (or offerer of sacri- 
fice to) the Supreme Ruler, and the hundred Shins. 
By this we see, that the word Shin here, is not to be 
taken as qualifying Heaven, but as referring to the. 
hundred Shins, as distinguished from Heaven. The. 
author of these pages, in his translation of the Shoo-' 
king, mistook Shin for an adjective ; but since he h^s 
met with the Familiar Exposition above quoted, he has 
seen that Shin must be taken substantive! v, and have 
reference to the Shins that the Chinese are in the habit 
of sacrificing to. The putting of the Shins before Hea- 
ven, so contrary to the usual practice of the Chinese, 
has caused no little difficulty in the explanation of the 
passage ; but the reason of that arrangement probably 
was, to distinguish the Shins from the heavens, with which 
they would have been confounded had the expressions 
been reversed .• for 5c fS^ t'heen shin, would have 
meant the Shins of Heaven alone, while jj]^ 5^ shin 
t'heen, must mean both the Shins and the Heavens. 
^ - In the 6th book, 3d page, we have the following : 
"The chief baron regulated the ceremonies of the 
country, and managed (the sacrifices offered), both to 
the Shins and to the manes of men, thus harmonizing 
those above and those below." 

The comtnentator here says, that he managed the business of the 
<Jelestial Shins, the terrestrial K'hes, and the hun)an Kweis. 

. The paraphrase explains the passage thus : *' there was the chief 
baron, called also the ^tDifieer presiding 6ver spring, who had to ma- 
nage the ceremonies of ihs iCountry, snob as the 5C|* keaou and HJjt 
fihay sacrifices, in order re-^^rently to present offerings to the Shins 

of heaven and earth ; as also the ijllp te and f^ hea sacrificed, in 
^rder with filial piety to gratify the manes of ancestors : both these 
were certainly important ceremonies, and the chief baron attended 
to the adjustment of these, that the regard to external objects and in- 
ternal feelings might be well-regulated, and not thrown into disorder. 
But among the Shins, as well as among the manes of men, there were 
the high and honourable ones, tvho differed considerably from the 
low and mean ones, these were to be harmonized. Thus the arrange- 
ment of altars and terraces (used in sacrificing to the Shins), and the 
seniority and inferiority (observed among the different generations of 
ancestors), together with the sacrificial animals,'and presents of silks, 
prayers and ejaculations, would be all arranged in proper order, and 
not allowed to fall into confusion. All whiuh was the work of the 



chief baron. This passage sets forth the duties of the chief baron j 
the management of the Shins and the manes of men, both refer to thd 

^ §^ Jtu superintendence of sacrifices offered to them respectiveiy. 

From the above extract we perceive that the Shins 
were the celestial Shins and terrestrial K'hes, while 
the (manes of) men refer to ancestors. 

On the 7th page of the same book, we read, 

" I have heard it said, that the extreme excellence 
of good government is so fragrant that it influences |^ 
13 intelligent and invisible beings ; that millet and 
rice, (used as meat offerings) are not particularly fra- 
grant, but that illustrious virtue is especially odorife- 
rous. Do you then make use of these instructions 
(of Chow-kung), be daily attentive, and do not dare to 
give way to ease and pleasure." 

The paraphrase on this passage is as follows: When the _ 

sacrifice to Heaven is offered, the 5C W celestial Shins descend ; 

and when the ^^ sacrifices in the ancestorial temple are presented^ 

the y^ j^ human Kweis, or the manes of men, enjoy them ; which 
shows that such services are sufficient to influence invisible and in- 
telligent beings. When people see that they ar€ influenced, tkey 
think that the rice and millet used on such occassions afiect them ; 
not knowing that rice and millet are merely the savoury food pre- 
pared for the use of the Shins, and do not possess any true fragrance. 
But when a man really possesses resplendent virtue, in his own per- 
son and heart, as the ground- work of excellent government, this spirit 
of harmony, ascending like fumes and pervading alljaronnd, while the 
Shins truly enjoy it, is what may be called true fragrance. 

From the above extracts we perceive, that the word 
jjjl^ H5 intelligent and invisible beings, or spiritual in- 
telligences is used for both the Kwei and the Shins, and 
may be applied, as well to the 5c f$ Shins of Heaven, 
contemplated at a season of sacrifice, as to the manes 
of progenitors, worshipped in the ancestorial temple. 

In the 5th section of the Book of Odes, 53d page, we 
read : 

" Oh you our good friends ! do not suppose you will 

, be continually at ease, but quietly fulfil the duties of 

your station, sending only honest men to our assistance, 

then the Shins will listen to you, and grant you plenty 

of emolument." 


The paraphrase on the latter part of this passage is, '* If you thus 
cause every thought to be respectful and sincere, when confronting 

yourelves for enquiry before IJ^ ^ invisible and intelligent be- 
ings, you will have no cause for sh^me ; but the Shins will listen to 
you, and being gratified by the simplicity of your transparent conduct, 
will reward you with the advantages arising from the practice of 
goodness, and afford you emolument without parsimony." 

Thus the above passage is similar to the one already 
quoted from the Happy Medium, where the writer 
speaks of confronting one's conduct for enquiry be- 
fore invisible and intelligent beings. There is, how- 
ever, an additional idea appended here, viz. that these 
invisible and intelligent beings are capable of approv- 
ing and rewarding the good conduct of men, which 
shews that the Chinese looked up to them for their 
approval and blessing ; but from comparison with this 
and other passages we may infer, that such blessing 
only respected inferior things, such as the increase of 
emolument, but was not supposed to interfere with the 
decree of Heaven. The next sentence of the Book of 
Odes is of similar import. 

In the 5th section, and 55th page, we read, 

" When formerly the ground was overgrown with 
brambles, (the ancients) said, let us clear away the 
thorns : why did they thus clear the ground ? but that 
we should plant it with grand and panicled millet ; now 
our grand millet is abundant, and our panicled millet 
plentiful, so that our granaries are full, and our stores 
overflowing, to enable us to make wine and eatables, 
to present as offerings (to the Shins), and pacify and 
soothe (the representatives of the dead), thus bringing 
down on ourselves great and abundant happiness. 

"(In the sacrifice) now offered, the dresses and man- 
ners are duly regulated, the sheep and oxen pure and 
clean, while they proceed to offer the winter and autum- 
nal sacrifices ; also whether they flay the victims, or 
boil their flesh, whether they spread out the feast or 
present the offerings, they perform these services in the 
gate-way of the temple ; the sacrifices being thus fully 
prepared, the first ancestors will be magnified, and the 
jf^ ^ invisible surety will be satisfied ; thus the filial 


descendant will be blessed, and rewarded witb gretri 
happiness, while the family will extend to myriads of 
ages without intermission." 

The commentator here says, that the offerings were to be presented 
in the gate- way of the temple, because the filial descendant did not 
know the exact place where the Shins might be ; he therefore prayed 
and sought them in the gate-way of the temple, where guests are ge- 
nerally received . The jjj* ^^ invisible surety, was the title given to 
the individual representing the dead, and sitting in the seat of honour 

at sacrifices ; this person was also called 1^. 'j^ the spiritual surety : 
it was also the title given to the necromancer who brought down the 
§h3ns by his incantations. 

"(The meaner attendants at this sacrifice^ even those 
who manage the kitchen, are all respectful, providing 
the dishes proportionably large, filled with roasted 
flesh or broiled meat ; (so also the more noble atten- 
dants at this solemnity), such as the lady of the prince, 
is still and guarded, bringing the plates in great a- 
bundance ; the guests and visitors pledge one another 
and return the compliment, all the ceremonies are very 
exact, the smiles and conversation are according to 
strict etiquette, thus the |[^ ^ invisible surety will 
approach and reward us with great happiness, and for 
jnyriads of ages renumerate our services. 

^'We have now fully performed the sacrifice, and have 
not erred in the use of ceremonies. The offerer of 
the public prayer has communicated the announce- 
ipent, and coming before the filial descendant (who 
presides over the sacrifice) has said, Since the sacrifices 
have been so fragrant, and the Shins have enjoyed 
the liquors and viands presented, they will bestow upon 
you a hundred blessings ; making them come accor- 
ding to the season, and be abundant according to the 
rule ; since you have been exact and expeditious, regu- 
lar and guarded in your services, they will perpetually 
bestow on you the extreme of blessings, in thousands 
and myriads of instances. 

" The ceremonies having been completed, and the 
bells and drums having announced the fact, the filial 
descendant having returned to his post (at the foot of the 
stairs), the offerer of the public prayer, having commu- 


nicated the announcement, and the Shias having been 
sufficiently intoxicated : the imperial representative 
of the dead having risen up, and the drums and bells 
having escorted him out, while the jjji|? ^ invisible 
surety having retired ; then all the attendants, together 
with the women, remove the viands without delay (for 
the use of the guests,) while the fathers and brethren 
(of the family) are invited to partake of a private enter- 

The commentator says here, that the Kwei Shins are invisible 
beings, and when the text speaks of their being intoxicated and of 
their returning, it is really intended to honour them, because the 
phraseology employed implies their actual presence. 

" The musicians have all entered to play up (in the 
inner apartment), in order to soothe (the nobles), while 
epjoying the subsequent benefit (of a feast) ; and now 
that the viands have all been sent in to them, they will 
have no cause for complaint, but rather of coni^ratula- 
tion ; when having thus drunk to inebriety, and fed to 
the full, they will all, both small and great, bow down 
their heads, saying, The Shins having enjoyed the 
eating and drinking (at the sacrifice), will cause our 
prince to live long, and he having been very compliant 
with the usual customs, and very seasonable in the pre- 
sentation of his offerings, will hand this practice down 
to his sons and grandsons, who wid not allow it to fail, 
but rather extend and enlarge it." 

In all this chapter, the Shins refer to the manes of 
departed progenitors, who are sacrificed to in the ances- 
torial temple, and who in consequence of their enjoy- 
ing the sacrifices offered by their descendants to satie- 
ty, and even to inebriety, are supposed to send down 
blessings upon the worshippers, perpetuating their dy- 
nasty to endless ages, and causing them to retain their 
stations of power and dignity, that they may continue 
to be the lords of the Shins and men. After the sacri- 
fice, the worshippers retire to the inner apartments of 
the temple, to feast upon the viands, when they also 
fill themselves to the full with the liquor and viands, 
even to intoxication, and are as much gratified as the 
Shins were supposed to have been. 


On the 62nd page of the same book, we read, 
" The seed-pod is already formed, and the grain has 
passed through its early stage, it is already consolida- 
ted and fragrant, but in order to prevent the springing 
up of weeds and tares, and to ward ofif the blasting and 
mildew, smut and grub, lest they should injure our 
young corn, we must rely on the 1^|^ invisible beings, 
who are the ancestors of the field, who would then 
take these four pests and consume them in the flames." 

The paraphrase calls the invisible beings above referred to " the- 
Shins of the ancestors of the field, to whom the former monarchs sa- 
crificed ;" thus they are a sort of lares rustici, presiding over the land 
and grain in that particular region, who by their influence were sup- 
posed able to destroy the pernicious insects that might otherwise- 
blight the hopes of the husbandman. 

In the Book of Odes, 6th section, and 12th page, we- 
have the following : 

" He was obedient to his ^ ^ ducal ancestors,, 
and the Shins did not complain, neither were they 


The commentator on this passage says, That the word " ducal an- 
cestors," refers to the former dukes, who were sacrificed to in the an- 
cestorial temple ; the whole means, that Wan-wdng was submissive- 
ly compliant to his ducal ancestors, and the Kwei Shtns accepted of 
and enjoyed his sacrifice, so that they were without complaint or 

The paraphrase says, The former dukes of the house of Chow, for 
ages displayed excellent virtue ; should there be the least departure 
from such practice, there would unavoidably arise complaints and 
vexations ; but Wan-wang practised these hereditary virtues, and 
had been habitually accordant to the example of the former dukes,. 

while the f* Hfl spiritual intelligences had been influenced thereby, 
and approached towards him. Luckily he was able to imitate their 
ancient virtues, and thus left no ground for disapprobation and grief. 
Thus he has hit upon the right way of connecting himself with the 
Shins, or manes of his ancestors. 

In the above passage, it is evident that the word 
Shin must be taken to mean the manes of ancestors, 
who would be gratified, or otherwise, by the conduct of 
their descendants, an^ shew it by accepting or reject^- 
ing their sacrifices. 

In the 6th section of the Book of Odes, page 34, we- 
read : 

'' Your territory is great and glorious, and also verj 


(extensive, Oh triumphant prince ! even to the end of 
your life, you may become the lord (or entertainer) of 
the hundred Shins.** 

The hundred Shins, according to the commentator, 
liiean the Kwei Shins of heaven and earth, hills and ri- 
vers ; and to become the lord of such Shins, means that 
the king might preside at the sacrifices offered to them, 
and be as it v^^ere their host or entertainer. 

Next follows Sect. 7, p. 5, the sentence already 
quoted, by the author of the Happy Medium, which 
is of so much importance, that we will proceed to no- 
tice it more particularly. 

" Looking at you, whilst associating with your vir- 
tuous friends, (1 perceive that) your countenance is pla- 
cid and agreeable, (as if you were saying) lest I should 
fall into some mistake ; but looking at you in your 
private dwelling, (can I find that) you are peradven- 
ture free from self-reproach in your secret chamber ^ 
Do not say, that this is no public place, and that there 
is no one looking at you ; for the Shins in their ap- 
proaches are not to be scrutinized, how then can you 
suffer yourself to indulge in indifference *? 

The commentator says, that this means, Looking upon you during 
your associations with good men, your countenance conveys the ex- 
pression of self-guardedness, as if you were perpetually examining 
yourself, and saying, " How can I avoid falling into mistakes V* 
For this is the universal feeling of common men, in attending mainly 
to externals. But when we look at you, dw«lling in your own house, 
you ou ght still, it should seem, to aim at escaping self-reproach 
in your secret chamber : which would be much better. Do not say, 
this is not a public place, and no one sees me ; for you ought to 
know the mysteriousness of the Kwei Shins, that they embody all 
things without exception, and when they come to any given place, 
there is something that cannot be scrutinized in their approach ; when 
without any outward appearance they do thus draw near, it is to be 
apprehended, lest we should commit some fault, how then can we bo 
indifferent and disrespectful ? which means that we must not only 
cultivate good conduct externally, but we must also be careful and 
tremblingly cautious in that which is neither to be seen nor heard. 

The paraphrase runs thus : You should be careful about your con- 
versation, and the work of self-cultivation ought undoubtedly to ap- 
ply to that which is secret. I perceive that when you associate with 
your good friends, where your teachers come, and wher« exhortations 
reach you, your countenance is harmouious and agreeable, and you 


certainly are enabled to avoid falling into mistakes ; while your feel- 
ing of self-guardedness is as if you were constantly examining your- 
self, and saying, *' How can I avoid errors ?" Thus attentive are 
you to the cultivation of personal virtues in public. But it is neces- 
sary also to observe you in your private dwelling; where, although you 
may not be heard nor seen, yet you ought to keep yourself by res- 
pect, and guard yourself by propriety, when perhaps you may avoid 
self-reproach in your secret chamber. Do not say, that the closet is 
not a public place, and no one sees or hears me, so that you may in- 
dulge negligence." For you ought to know, that the Kwei Shins, who 
as it were embody all things without exception, come into this secret 
place, and examine whatever you do. In these their approaches they 
are n«t to be scrutinized ; although they do not appear, yet they draw 
near ; and it is to l>e feared lest in an unguarded moment, we allow 
ourselves to be indifferent, and just at the period of their coming we 
fall into some mistake ; how then can we treat them with neg- 
lect and disrespect ? Thus we may see, that the work of self-cultiva- 
tion combines both the internal and external conduct, has respect to 
public and private matters, and pervades all our affairs, whether in 
motion or at rest, requiring one uninterrupted feeling of respectful 

The critical commentator on this passage, says, That if th® coming 
of the Kwei Shins could be ascertained, then we might respect their 
approach, and despise their absence, so that there would be room for 
indifference ; but now, seeing that their coming cannot be scrutini- . 
zed, then although every thought be respectful, and we be every mo- 
ment'careful, yet it is to be feared that some mistake may arise, how 
then can we be neglectful ? 

From the above extract, we perceive that the Shins 
spoken of in the test, are called Kwei Shins in the 
commentary, and refer as well to the celestial and ter- 
restrial Shins, who are said to embody all things, as to 
the manes of ancestors, who come and enjoy the offer- 
ings of tlieir descendants. Their approaches are said 
to be mysterious and inscrutable, so that we ought 
ever to be on our guard, lest coming suddenly they find 
us indulging indffference, and we be exposed to blame. 
From the Kwei Shins' occasional approaches, however, 
we may argue that they are sometimes absent, and 
therefore, that they are not endowed with ubiquity, nor 
present at all times in every place. Their embodying 
of all things, then cannot refer to their being perpetual- 
ly present in every substance, but that they come and 
go, approach and recede, at intervals. Sometimes af- 
fecting substances to make them spring up and grow, 
and at other times, causing them to wither and decay. 


expanding here and contracting there, as may appear 
to be necessary ; only as we do not know where they 
may happen to be operating at the moment, it becomes 
us to be careful, lest we should inadvertently fall into 
an error, and be blamed accordingly. 

In the same section, and on the 13th page, we read 
«s follows : 

" Although the famine is thus severe, we will exert 
our utmost energies, and dread deserting our post ; but 
why are we afflicted wifch thi« scourge *? how is it that 
we do not know the reason *? in praying for a good 
year, we have been sufRcieTitly early, in sacrificing to 
the (genii of the) differeut quarters, and the (lares of 
the) land and grain, we have not been backward ; how 
is it that ^ ^ Ji; 'rf^ the high Ruler of the bright 
heavens, does not estimate our devotions ^ respecting 
and venerating '^ jjj^ the intelligent and invisible be- 
ings, it would seem that we ought to escape his vexa- 
tion and rage." 

The commentator says, That *' praying for a good year," means 
that in the first month of spring, they prayed to the Supreme Ruler 
for grain, and in the first month of winter, thej supplicated the 
honoured of heaven, (namely the sun, moon, and stars,) on behalf of 
the coming year. The passage means, why does not Heaven appreci- 
ate our feelings, and knowing that we reverence and serve the intel- 
ligent invisibles, it ought not to harbour displeasure towards us. 

The paraphrase on the latter part of this passage, says, If we had 

not been careful in serving the [Jj^ Shtns, then might H«aven be 
justly displeased with us ; but as we have been so respectful in our 

regard to ^[^ [fj^ intelligent and invisible beings, it seems but proper 
that Heaven should restrain its wrath. 

The Shins above referred to, are the 5^ ^ honoured 
ones of heaven, (sun, moon, and stars) with the genii 
of t'le four quarters of the compass, and the lares of tli« 
labd and grain, respect towards whom would secure 
the approbation of Heaven, and neglect in such acts of 
devotion, cause the Supreme Ruler of the bright Hea- 
vens to be displeased. From this it by no meaUvS fol- 
lows, that the Shins are identical with Heaven, or its 
Ruler, but that the Supreme Power merely takes cog- 
nizance of any disrespect manifested towards them, 



and punishes it as a departure from the principle of or- 
der, and the fitness of things. 

In the I4th page of the same book, we read, 
"Among the high hills are the mountains, which are 
great even to heaven; when these mountains sent down 
their Shins, they produced Foo and Shin ; now these 
two persons Shin and Foo, constitute the trunk of the 
Chow dynasty, overshadowing the four surrounding 
states, and being celebrated throughout all quarters." 

The commentator says, That mountains are the most honoured 
among hills, such as the east, west, north, and south mountains of 
China. Foo was a marquis, who superintended punishments, and 
Shin a lord of the same surname. The sense of the passage is, that 
lord Shin, the brother-in-law of Seuen-wang, was appointed to an 
office in the Seay country, when Yun-keih-foo made this ode to ac- 
company him, saying, That the mountains are great and lofty, and 

have sent down jj^ g^ the efficaciousness of their Shins, with the 
energy of their harmonious feelings, in order to produce the marquis 
Foo, and the lord Shin, who may truly be said to be the main sup- 
porters of the Chow dynasty, overshadowing all a^d proclaiming their 
virtues over the whole empire. For the ancestors of the lord Shin of 
of the present day, and the descendants of the Shin-nung of former 
times, were the presidents of the four provinces under Yaou and 
Shun ; these taking the general superintendence of the chiefs over 
the mountains in the four quarters, and appointing the saciifices 
which were offered to the Shins of the said mountain, could carry out 
the duties of their office, so that the Shins enjoyed their sacrifices. 
Thus the present ode looks back to the ancestors from whom the lord 
Shin sprang, to shew how the mountains send down their Shins, and 
produced the celebrated individual refer red to. 

In the above passage, it is evident that the Shins re- 
ferred to, are the Shins presiding over hills and rivers. 
'J he expression fj^ ^ shin lin^, occurring in the com- 
mentary, must be translated as we have done it above, 
because the paraphrase says, " that when the moui'tains 
are high, their jj(l^ Shins are ^ ellicaclous ;" shewing 
that the phrase must mean the efficaciousness of the 
Shins of those mountains. 

In the 26th page of the same book, we have the 
following : 

" Why does Heaven afilict *? why do the Shins not en- 
rich *? it is because you house those great enemies, 
and only dislike my advice ; you do not regard these 
calamitous visitations, while your dignified manners 


do not correspond, and proper men to assist you are 
said to be g'oiug away ; thus your country is destroyed 
and reduced to misery." 

The commentator says, that the above passage means : " Why 
does Heaven chastise our prince, and why do the Shins not enrich 
him ? it is because the prince believes and employs women : there- 
fore he will certainly induce the great calamity of foreign invasion. 
Now the sovereign houses these,.and does not shun them with horror, 
on the contrary he utterly dislikes our faithful exhortations and does 
not pay respect to them : how is this ? Now when Heaven sends down 
infelicitDus things, it is to be hoped that the sovereign will become 
alarmed, and cultivate personal virtues ; but in the present case, the 
prince meets with calamity and does not regard it, while he is not 
careful about maintaining a dignified manner ; at the same time there 
are no good men to assist him ; under such circumstances it is to be 
expected that the country would be ruined. 

The paraphrase on this passage says, Our sovereign is the Son of 
Heaven, and Heaven ought therefore to regard him : but how is it 
that Heaven now chastises our prince, and sends down this distressing 
calamity ? Our emperor also is the lord (or entertainer) of the Shins, 
and the Shins ought to enrich him ; how is it therefore that they do 
not enrich the sovereign, but reduce him to this dreadful poverty? 
It is all because the emperor believes and employs these women, &c. 

Here it is evident that the Shins referred to are 
those to whom it is customary to offer sacrifice, be- 
cause the emperor is said to be their lord, or entertainer, 
that is the president at the sacrifices offered to them ; 
they are here spoken of as being capable of granting 
or withholding liches, because in their expanding-s or 
contracting^, they promote or retard the interests of 
men. They are nothing more, however, than the ce- 
lestial expanders, and the terrestrial e^tracters, with 
the genii of the hills and rivers, and the manes of an- 
cestors, so often referred to. 

In the 8th section of the Book of Odes, and the 5th 
page, we have the following : 

'• At the proper seasons, (our emperor) has visited 
(the princes of) the various states, so that the bright hea- 
vens might well perhaps look upon him as a son. Hav- 
ing honoured and arranged the Chow dynasty. Heaven 
has directed the ruler of it to inspire the princes with 
awe (by his visits) ; now every one of them is moved 
and awe-struck ; (while by his sacrifices) he has induced 
the hundred Shins to approach and be soothed ; even 


to (the genii of) the rivers and high hills, (they am all 
affected) : thus we may truly consider our prince as 
the sovereign of the empire." 

The paraphrase on this passage is as follows ; ** this i» an ode 
&ung at the period of imperial visitation, and at that of sacrifice and 
announcement. It means that our sovereign of Chow, having risen 
at the time when the decree in favour of the former dynasty of Shang 
was abrogated, just when people's minds were looking for something 
correct, and considering that the princes of the empire, without some 
one to lead them on, would become careless, and the hundred Shins, 
without some one to superintend them, would be scattered, com- 
menced these imperial visitations, in order to give audience to the 
princes of the empire, and do sacrifice to the hundred Shins. On 
this account he set about the business in obedience to the will of 
Heaven ; not knowing whether Heaven, in the midst of its deep still- 
ness would bestow on him some gracious consideration, and view 
him in the light of a son, that he might be the lord both of the Shins 
and of men, and the promoter of true doctrine. If not, then we can- 
not look to Heaven for help. But although Heaven cannot be cer- 
tainly calculated on, yet if we look to the business that is perfornjed, 
we may have some evidence of Chow's being the true sovereign. For 
Heaven has honoured our sovereign of Chow by placing him over 
the ministers and people, and has given him his rank by arranging 
him in the succession of the Hea and Shang dynasties ; thus it causes 
our monarch to give audience and inspire awe among the princes of 
the empire. Moreover, when we see the regulations and commands 
he issues, at which all the princes tremble ; and the sacrifices which 
he offers, to which all the Shins soothingly approach ; als© when we 
see the posts assigned, the prayers offered up, with the sacrificial ani- 
mals, and offerings of silk presented (to the genii), and that the lares 
of the deep rivers and high mountains are invariably influenced and in- 
duced to come ; then we perceive that our sovereign is the lord both of 
the Shins and men. Now when both the Shins and men receive their 
appointments to various posts in this way, we may be sure that the 
Son of the bright Heavens is none other than this our sovereign. Is it 
not therefore evident that the prince of Chow is the monarch of the 

The critical commentator says, that it was necessary for the hun- 
dred Shins to be enlarged : speaking of the rivers and hills it is 
evident that they selected the greatest among the hundred Shins ; 
these rivers not overflowing, and those mountains not being dis- 
ruptnred, it is evident that they were influenced. 

From the paraphrase we may understand that the 
hundred Shins of the text, are none other the celestial 
expanders and terrestrial es tractors, because of the 
fear expressed lest they should be scattered, and dis- 
persed into empty air, by not having some one to super- 
intend and to fix them to their post. The word 3E su- 


peimtend, used here with reference to the Shins, cannot 
mean to superintend the sacrifices offered to them, but 
to excercise authority over the Shins themselves, be- 
cause the paraphrast speaks of the posts assigned them, 
and of their receiving their appointments from the em- 
peror. He is therefore, in the estimation of the Chi- 
nese, lord both of the Shins and men, and can at his 
will appoint or degrade the various genii, according 
as they aid or obstruct him in the management of the 
empire. The genii of the hills and rivers are said to 
be the great ones among the Shins, from which we may 
infer that the little ones preside only over mounds and 
ditches with more contracted spheres of operation. 

In the |§ ^ Book of Ceremonies, section ist, page 
4, we read, 

" Prayers and addresses, sacrifices and offerings, 
are to be presented to the Kwei Shins, but if these are 
not according to propriety, they will neither manifest 
our sincerity nor gravity." 

The paraphrase says, that the Kwei Shins arc the perfection of be- 
nevolence and righteousness ; when a man is sincere, he then pos- 
sesses the reality of benevolence within, and when a man is grave he 
exhibits the appearance of righteousness without, both these consti- 
tute the actings of propriety. 

Here the Kwei Shins mean those which are sacrificed 
to ; they are said to possess the attributes of benevo- 
lence and righteousness, to which the sincerity and gra- 
vity of the worshippers must correspond. 

In the 35th page of the same book, we have the 
following : 

'' The tortoise is for dividing, and the straws for prog- 
nostications ; divinations and proguobiicaiions were used 
by the wise kings of former times, to cause the people 
to be certain in the selection of times and seasons, to 
induce a respectful reference to the Shins, and trem- 
bling caution in the enactment of laws ; they weie also 
intended to enable the people to determine their 
hesitations, and to settle their doubts : therefore it 
used to be said, when in doubt divine, and you will not 
err ; in selecting days for the performance of business, 
you will also be able to carry out your plans.'* 


The commentator saj^s, that this respectful reference to the Shins 
was made, because, although human deliberations were far from being 
insufRcient, yet still prayers were offered to the Kwei Shins, because 
the worshippers knew that there was something for them to honour, 
and they could not dare to be positive. 

Here it appears that the Shins refer to the Kwei 
Shins, to whom prayers were to be oiTered, not because 
human deliberations were insufficient without them, 
but to ensure the greater certainty in the management 
of affairs. 

In the 48th page of the same book, we read, 

" (When the emperor), on paying his visits of inspec- 
tion to the princes of the empire, approaches the Kwei 
Shins, the form of address is, such and such a distin- 
guished person, now in possession of the empire (makes 
this application.) 

The commentator says, that on these occasions the emperor gene- 
rally despatches j[|)h JS- ^ P^^y^'^^ officer to present the sacrifices 
which should be offered to the Kwei Shin : and because he himself 
did not attend, the form of prayer only contained his designation, 
saying, that such and such an illustrious person presented the offering. 

The paraphrase says, that in sacrificing to the hundred Shins out- 
side the imperial domain, because of their inferiority, the emperor's 
designation merely was employed, (and not his name.) 

Thus it appears, that the Kwei Shins here referred 
to, wer« merely those which presided over hills and 
rivers, beyond the precincts of the imperial domain, 
and therefore were considered inferior to those which 
were supposed to superintend the mountains and 
streams within that domain. 

In the 2nd section, 51st page, we have the following : 

" The repetition of the prayer, shewed the intensity 
of affection (cherished by descendants) and that they 
had the heart to pray and supplicate. Their looking 
for (their deceased parents) to return from the invisi- 
ble world, shewed that they understood the principles 
of praying to the Kwei Shins. The turning of the face 
towards the north, was the usual practi-ce, in praying 
for anything from invisible beings." 

The commentator on this passage says. That the Kwei Shins dwell 
in the dark unseen world, and the north is the quarter indicative of 
darkness, therefore on praying to the Kwei Shins of the invisible 
world, it was usual to turn towards the north. 


The paraphrase on the above passage sa3's, A filial child, in serving 
his parents, shews that he possesses the feeling of love : and when 

parents are deceased, their still expecting them to ^^ ^5 return to 
life, shows that they carry out to the utmost this feeling of love. 
The invisible world is the habitation of the Kwei Shhis ; they expect- 

■ed their '^]i^ ^^ spiritual essence to return from the unseen world, 
therefore it is said, that they looked for their returning from the invi- 
sible rej^ions. 

Here the Kwei Shins intended are the inhabitants of 
the uiiseen worid, from whence the filial child wished 
his deceased parent to return. It would seem from 
this, that the Chinese had a slight notion of the resur- 
rection from the dead, lut we strongly suspect that the 
wish was merely an expression of the overweening filial 
afi'ection of the descendants of the deceased, and did 
not in the minds of the Chinese amount to a positive 
expectation of such a revivification. 

On the next page, we have the following : 

" In pouring out the libation (at funerals) a white 
vessel was employed, because the living worshipper 
had the feeling of grief and abhorrence of ornament ; 
but in the ceremony of sacrificing, the host or presiding 
person felt it necessary for him to carry out his feelings 
to the utmost, (and therefore used ornament) ; not that 
he could be sure that the b^hins would come and enjoy 
the sacrifice, but to shew that the presiding person had 
the feeling of veneration and respect." 

From the paraphrase it would appear, that the liba- 
tion was offered immediately after the decease of a pro- 
genitor, when the mourner's feelings were yet warm, so 
that he abhorred all ornament ; but the sacrifice was 
presented some time after, when, although it formed a 
part of the funeral obsequies, yet l.^eing a sacrifice, the 
offerer thought it his duty to exhibit a preponderance of 
.respect, and therefore had no objection to the use of 

Thus we see, that the Shins in the above passage, re- 
fer to the manes of ancestors. 

On the 53rd page, of the same section, we read, as 
follows : 

" With an official cap, and a flaxen head-band, to at- 


^-end at funerals, is the way to show respectful feeling 
in holding inti rcourse with the Shins." 

On this papsage, the commentator says, When a person is in 
jnoiirning, his cap and dress should all wear the customary hahit of 
■sorrow ; but at the ianeral, when our parents are deposited in the 
ground, we should then hold intercourse with the Shins of the hills 
and rivers, according to the principles of propriety and respect. 
Thus we should wear a cap of white silk, similar to the cap of office, 
and use a head-band of fine flax, at the period of the funeral, not dar- 
ing to hold intercourse with the Shins in a mournful habit, in order to 
4jhew our respect. 

The paraphrase says, that holding intercourse with the Shins, 
means, when our parents are not yet interred, we pour out libations, 
and do not sacrifice, because we treat them as if they were men ; 
but on the day of the funeral, we off'er the composing sacrifice, and act 
towards them as if they were Shins. One says, that under the Siiins 
of the hills and rivers, there are subordinates, and the libation is 
^poured out at the roadside, because the host is already returned to 
his long home. Whenever did a filial child use an official cap and 
a flaxen head-band, in order to sacrifice to the Shins of the hills and 
rivers ? 

From the above we perceive, that although the 
Shins in the text are by the commentator referred to 
the hills and rivers, they must still be applied to the 
manes of ancestors, which are only called by the above 
title, because the bodies of progenitors were deposited 
in the tombs, which were a sort of hillock, surrounded 
by dikes to drain off the water. The Shins here, there- 
fore, have the same reference as those in the preceding 

On the 57th page of the same book, we read as fol- 
lows : 

"They called (the articles used at the funerals of pa- 
rents,) 0^ ^ resplendent articles, because they consi- 
dered (their parents) in tne light of f^B3 invisible and 
resplendeiit beings. The mud carriage and the man of 
straw (for accompanying funerals,) have been employ- 
ed from all antiquity, and constitute the resplendent ar- 
ticles alluded to. Confucius said. The inventor of the 
mud carriage and the man of straw was good, but the 
inventor of the wooden image (to be used for like pur- 
poses) was destitute of benevolence ; because it was by 
no means a matter of d(mbt that they would lead to the 
use of men (for a similar object.) 


The commentator says, "That these bundles of straw but partially 
resembled men, and were intended to act as attendants to the manes 
of the departed in the shades below ; the images, however, were made 
of wood, and supplied with springs, so that they greatly resembled 
men ; and Confucius denounced the employment of t^uch imao:es,made 
because he was afraid lest people should go on until tuey use of living 
men to accompany the dead." 

From the above it appears, that the jfi^ ^ shin 
ming, referred to parents. Th«s is the first time we 
meet with any mention of images in the Chinese classics, 
and here we find, that they were only used to represent 
attendants, to accompany the dead at funerals ; from 
hence it has been inferred, that the Chinese of the 
classical ages did not practice image worship. 

In the 3d section, 4 1st page, of the |^ f£ Book of 
Rites, reference is made to the sacrifices offered on the 
different months of the year ; thus, 

*' in the first month of spring, when the sun and 
moon are in conjunction in ^ ^ Pisces, and when 
the star culminating at even is ^ Orion, and that at 
dawn is M Scorpio ; the time being ^ 21 those two 
days of the cycle that are supposed to refer to wood; 
the^ Te,or Divine Euler (sacrificed to) is [jfc ^ T'hae- 
haou, and the |j$ Shin, or spirit is fij tS Kow-mang." 

The commentator tells us, that ''T'hae-haou was t)\^^ Fuh-he, 
(the first sovereign, according to the Chinese fabulous nistory, who is 
gUpposed to preside over the element of wood) ; and that Kow-mang, 

was the son of ^ H^ Shaou-haou, called ^J Chung, the ininister of 

the element of wood ; these were ^g the sages, and Jj^ the Shins 
who carried on the rule of Heaven, in establishing t*ie extreme point 
of excellence ; during their lives, they possessed merit among the peo- 
ple, therefore succeeding monarchs sacrificed to them in the spring ; 
the Divine Rulers, and the Shins (spirits) of the four seasons, after- 
wards mentioned, are all to be explained in tlie same way." 

This is the first time we have met with the phrase ^Di- 
vine Rulers, in connection with the Shins (spirits), and 
therefore it will be necessary to speak of them more par- 
ticularly. The Chinese mention 3E *3? fiveTes, namely 
ffc ^ Fiih-he, presiding over the element of wood ; 
^ 1^ Yen-te, or jjjl^ ]^ Shin-uung, presiding over fire ; 


"1^ 'ijf Hwang-te, presiding over earth ; /^ ^ Shaou- 
haou, presiding over metal ; and |§^ Chuen-heuh, pre- 
siding over water ; these were the first emperors, in the 
fabulous history of China, who were after their death 
sacrificed to as Divine Rulers. Confucius said, that Hea- 
ven appointed the 3E ^ five elements, metal, wood, 
water, fire, and earth, to be distributed over the sea- 
sons, renovating and nourishing, in order to complete the 
myriad of things ; the Shins (spirits) of which were call- 
ed the 3l ^^^^ Divine Rulers. From this it would ap- 
pear, that the 5 'if? Five Tes were a description of 
spiritual beings, though classed before those who were 
mere spirits, ard operating like them under the authori- 
ty of Heaven, to establish the extreme point of excel- 
lence, and to complete the myriad of things- 

On the 46th and 49th pasres of the same book , are 
similar passages to the above. On the 53rd, 56th, and 
59th pages, the ^ Divine Ruler is said to be jj!^ ^ 
Yen-te, or ^^ Shin-n\ing, presiding over fire ; and the 
Shin or spirit associated with him is jJJ^ g^ Chiih-yung. 

On the 62d page, the r^ Divine Ruler is Sdid to be^ 
^ Hwang-te, who presided over the element of earth ; 
and the Shin or spirit associated with him is )^ 4rHow- 
f hoo, or empress Earth ; upon which the paraphrast 
remarks, that " this was the name of an office, viz. th e 
president of the board of works, filled by one -^ f^ 
Kow-lung, who was able to level the nine regions ; hence, 
after his death he was considered as the Shin (spirit) of 
empress Earth ; for among the spirits associated with 
the Divine Rulers on this occasion, this one alone was 
called empress." 

On pages 63, 64, and 69, the ^ Divine Ruler is 
said to be ^^ Shaou-haou, presiding over metal ; and, 
the Shin (spirit) associated with him is ^ JJjjJ Juh-showw 

On pages 73, 77, and 80, the *S^ Divine Ruler is sai( 
to be ^ ^ Chuen-heuh, presiding over water, and th( 
Shin (spirit) associated with him was ^jpjHeuen-ming. 


In the 4th Section of the Book of Rites, and the 46th 
page, after Confucius had dwelt on the excellence of 
suitable ceremonies in bringing about right rule, his 

" Yen-yen retorted, saying, According to this, then, 
ceremonies are of the most urgent necessity ^ To 
which Confucius replied, By the proper use of ceremo- 
nies, the former kings carried out the principle of con- 
necting the rule of Heaven, and managing the concerns 
of the people ; therefore those sovereigns that erred 
in the use of ceremonies soon perished, while those 
who succeeded in maintaining proper rites perpetuated 
their rule. The ode says, ' We see that the little mice 
have bodies, but men are without ceremonies ; when 
men are without ceremonies, how soon they hasten to 
ruin !* Therefore rites and ceremonies must regard 
Heaven as the origin, must be observed in imitation of 
the inequalities of the earth's surface, and must be ar- 
ranged according to the contractings or expandings 
of the Kwei Shins, thus they will be carried out in the 
business of funerals and sacrifices, in archery, horseman- 
ship, the celebration of manhood, the contraction 
of nuptials, the giving audience to the princes, and 
the presenting of credentials to the sovereign ; in the 
arrangement of all these the sages have directed cer- 
tain ceremonies to be used, and the whole empire with 
the various states may thus be, correctly regulated. 

The Commentator says, that in tlie use of rites, regarding Heaven 

as the origin, refers to the economy of the ^^ J;^ celestial princi- 
ple of order ; the imitation of the inequalities of the earth's surface, 
refers to the elevation or depression of the various hills and marshes, 
which called for higher or lower ceremonies being observed in sa- 
crificing to their presiding genii ; their being arranged according 
to the contractings or expandings of the Kwei Shins, refers to the 
five kinds of ceremonies used in serving invisible beings, the greatest 
of which is sacrifice ; archery, horsemanship, &c. are the eight circum- 
stances in human life \«here ceremonies are needed. 

The critical commentator says, that the being arranged according 
to the Kwei Shins, refers to the contractings or expandings, approach- 
ings or recedings, displayings and expandings, with the majestic 
sternness and regular order, of the Kwei Shin. Heaven, he adds, is 
far distant, therefore the sage speaks of its being viewed as the ori- 
gin ; earth is n«ar, therefore he talks of our imitating it ; the wise 


kings, having taken their pattern from heaven snd earth, together 
Atith the Kwei Shins, in arranging their ceremonies and instructing' 
the people, proceeded to sacrifice to heaven and earth, to present of- 
ferings in the uncestorial temple, and towards the principal hills and 
rivers ; on the one hand, to reward the merit of those for whom sacri- 
fices were instituted, and on the other, to instruct the people in the 
duty of venerating their superiors. 

It appears from the whole of the above quotations, 
that the Kwei Shins in the text refer to those elastic 
powers of nature, which produce changes and transtor- 
mations, and to which the Chinese are in the habit of 
oflfering sacrifices. 

On the 47th page, Confucius goes on to observe : 
" In the eany institution of ceremonies, men first 
offered meat and drink, which consisted of roasted corn 
and broiled meat (for a sacrifice), while they scooped 
water out of the puddles with the hollow of their hand 
(for a libation), and struck an earthen drum with a 
cock ery-w are stick ; (whilst using these simple rites) 
still they seemed able to carry out their feelings of 
respect towards the Kwei Shins." 

The Kwei Shins here spoken of are invisible beings in g6neral, 
who accept of sacrifices according to the virtue of the worshippers, 
and .not according to the fragancy of the offerings. 

The next sentence says, 

*' When people die, the survivors go up to the house- 
top (whither the x^ ^ spirit mounts aloft,) and call 
out saying, Oh you ! such a one, come back (to the 
body you have left). (But if that prove unavailing,) 
they offer the unboiled rice and raw flesh (of high an- 
tiquity), or the boiled dumplings (of latter ages) (to the 
manes of the departed) : thus they look towards hea- 
ven (whither the spirit is gone), and store up in the 
earth (the corpse of the deceased), 'i hey do this be- 
cause they suppose the body and the grosser parts of 
the animal soul descend (to earth), while the ^fj ^ 
intelligent spirit mounts aloft. Thus also they dis- 
pose the dead, with their heads towards the north, 
while the living face the south ; all these ceremonies 
are according to the original institution." 

The critical commentator, in his account of this matter, says, that 
the body must have some place to rest on, and, the grosser part of the 



animal spirits must have some place of shelter, for both of these are 
heavy and nluddy, and belong to the female priniple of nature ; there- 
fore they descend and remain below. But %l knowledge is all-per- 
vading, and the 5|^ spirit is in no case divested of knowledge ; 
both these are light and pure, and belong to the male principle of na- 
ture, therefore they ascend and mount aloilt. 

This is the most distinct reference to the ^jj ^ in- 
telligent soul, which we have in the Chinese classics ; 
which they say is ^MJlW*^"^ capable of bein^ 
moved, and is always existing ; and yet in speaking of 
it, the Chinese cannot divest themselves of their notions 
of materialism, but must talk of its lightness and purity, 
which enables it to float upwards, as lighter bodies as- 
cend, whik the grosser ones sink down. The prac- 
tice of going to the house-top and calling- out to the 
spirits of the departed to come back, is continued to 
the present day, as the writer has frequently witnessed 
in the neighbourhood of his own dwelling at Shanghae. 
Confucius goes on to say, " In former times, the an- 
cient kings had no houses to live in ; but in the winter 
they dwelt in caves , and in the summer in nests ; they 
were also ignorant of the use of fire, and ate the fruit of 
shrubs and trees, with the flesh of birds and beasts, 
drinking the blood, and eating the feathers along with 
it ; they were also unacquainted with hemp and flax, 
but clothed theraelves in feathers and skins. 

" Subsequently the sages arose, and then men under- 
stood the advantages of fire ; after which they began to 
mould metals, and make earthenware ; they also made 
terraces, and cause-ways, houses and buildings, doors 
and windows ; they likewise cooked dumplings and 
steaks, with boiled and roasted meats ; they proceeded 
to make wine and vinegar, and worked up the flax and 
hemp into cloths and fabrics, in order to nourish the 
living, and accompany the dead, as well as to serve the 
Kwei Shins, and the Supreme Ruler ; in all this, the 
operations now practised are in imitation of the exam- 
ple of antiquity." 

In the above sentence, the Kwei Shins spoken of re- 
fer to invisible beings in general, but more particularly 

' 78 

to the manes of ancestors, and the spirits presiding 
over hills and rivers. One peculiarity is observable in 
the above quotation, viz. that of putting the Kwei 
Shins before the Supreme Huler, w^hich w^as probably 
done in order to distinguish the one from the other, 
and to prevent the reader from imagining that the 
Kwei Shins belonged to the Shang te, which mistake 
might have occurred, had the words been differently 

" Then they had black wine (or water) in the centre 
of their houses ; they had also must and fermenting 
liquor, near the doorway ; they had red wine in the 
outer hall, and clear wine in an inferior place ; they 
then arranged their sacrificial victims, and prepared 
their tripods and trenches, they put in order their harps 
and guitars, and musical stones, together with their 
bells and drums. They then recited their supplica- 
tions and pronounced their blessings, in order to bring 
down the J;^ jfl^ Shins of the upper world, together 
with the manes of their first ancestors, to correct the 
position of prince and ministers, to render intense the 
feeling between parents and children, to harmonise el- 
der and younger br<3thren, to arrange the upper and 
lower classes, and bring husbands and wives to their 
proper portions ; this was the way in which they con- 
nected and perpetuated the blessings of Heaven." 

The Shins of the upper world, mentioned in the text, are the 5C 
jfl^ celestial Shins spoken of elsewhere. 

In the same book, on the 53rd page, we read, 
" Oa this account ceremonies constitute the great 
handle held by the sovereign ; these are the means 
whereby to distinguish what is doubtful, and to illus- 
tratewhat is abstruse ; they are the means also of enter- 
taining the Kwei Shins, of examining into regulations, 
and of determining the nature of benevolence and 
righteousness ; in short, the means whereby to ma- 
nage government and give ease to the sovereign." 

The paraphrase here says, That the Kwei Shins inhabit the invisi- 
ble world, and are with difficulty discovered, but by the use of the 
proper ceremonies we hold intercourse with them. The entertaining 


above mentioned, refers to the entertaining of the Kwei Shins, as we 
would guests. They are therefore the manes and spirits all along 
referred to. 

On the 54th page, of the same book, we read, 
" Hence it is that the sages co-operate with hea- 
ven and earth, and stand together with the Kwei 
Shins, in order to regulate the government ; they no- 
tice the places where each severally rests, and thus 
form the arrangement of rites and ceremonies ; they 
muse on that in which each one delights, and settle 
the government of the people." 

The commentator says, That this paragraph speaks of the sages 
co-operating with and aiding the ways of heaven and earth, as well as 
fixing and conjoining with the business of the Kwei Shins : all with 
reference to the affairs of government. Hence they mark the places 
where heaven and earth, as well as the Kwei Shins severally rest, 
and finding that heaven is on high, and earth beneath, while all things 
are scattered about, the sages take their pattern from these, and ar- 
range the order of ceremonies. They also muse on those things la 
which heaven and earth, together w th the Kwei Shins take delight, 
and finding that these all move about without cessation, while they 
unite and bring about various transformations, the sages take their 
pattern from them, and appoint the government of the people. 

In the above extract, the Kwei Shins refer to invisi- 
ble beings in general, or the contracting and expanding 
energies of nature, which bring about the various 
changes and transformations observable around us. 
On the 59th page of the same book, we read, 
" Thus it is, that when the sages arose, they insisted 
on taking heaven and earth for the :^ root of all 
things, they also looked on the male and female prin- 
ciple of nature, as the J^ commencement of the 
series ; they considered the four seasons as the ;j^ 
handle of government, the sun and fixed stars as the 
^£ record of labours, the moon as the '^ measure of 
work, the Kwei Shins as the ^ associates to which 
government was to be complied, the five elements as the 
^ ground-work of things, ceremony and righteousness 
as the |§ instruments employed, human feelings as the 
1^ field to be cultivated, and the four chief living crea- 
tures as the ^ domestic animals to be reared. Consi- 
dering heaven and earth as the main root, business and 


things could be set in motion ; taking the male and fe- 
male principle of nature to be the commencement, then 
good and evil matters could be ascertained ; looking up- 
on the four seasons as the handle, the people might 
be exhorted to set to work ; viewing the sun and the 
fixed stars as the record, then agricultural affairs could 
be arranged ; taking the moon as the measure, then all 
kinds of w^ork could be as regular as planting ; assum- 
ing the Kwei Shins to be associates (to which govern- 
ments should be conformed,) then undertakings could 
be long maintained ; taking the five elements to be the 
ground-work, then matters could be repeatedly attended 
to ; taking ceremonies and righteousness to be the im- 
plements, then undertakings could be completed ; tak- 
ing human feelings to be the field, then men could be- 
come settled ; considering the four principle living 
creatures to be domestic animals, then food and drink 
would have some place from whence they proceeded." 

The commentator, with regard to the Kwei Shins, says, The word 
" associates," in the text, refers to associates complying with one 
another ; the ceremonies observed at the sacrifices to the celestial 
and terrestrial Shins, the manes of ancestors, and the genii of hills 
and rivers, with the lares of the five parts of private dwellings, 
all correspond with the business of government, like the imitation of 
the inequalities of the earth's surface spoken in a former paragraph : 
when governments are thus conducted ^ then all matters may be car- 
ried on for a long time without failing. 

It is not necessary to proceed further with this curi- 
ous, and somewhat intricate paragraph ; aU we want 
to ascertain is, what is meant by the Kwei Shins being 
associates. ^ The character employed originally 
means disciples or followers, but it is explained by the 
commentator to mean persons #ho associate or comply 
one with another ; and is applied to the Kwei Shi iXBy: 
because the sacrifices offered to them are in accordance 
with the business of government, or rather the econo^ 
my^supposed to exist among invisible beings is similar 
to that which obtains in human governments, and 
when the affairs of government are conducted with that 
idea in view, all undertakings may be perpetuated. 
On the 6lst page of the same book we read, 
" The ancient kings were apprehensive lest ceremo- 



nies should not extend their influence to those hel 
hence they sacrificed to i]^ the Ruling Power, at the 
border of the country, in order to point out the fixed- 
ness of the throne of [leaven ; they sacrificed to the 
^ lares rnstlci within the country, in order to shew 
'''n^ arraiigement of terrestrial advantages ; they per- 
formed services in the ancestorial temple, in order to 
shew where benevolence originiited ; they honoured 
the hills and rivers, in order to treat the Kwei Shins 
as guests ; and served the genii presiding over the 
various parts of the house, in order to set forth that 
business was the main thing." 

The commentator says, That the emperor carried out the ceremo- 
nies employed for honouring heaven, and then the people knew 
how to use such ceremonies as exalt the sovcreiarn ; hence it is said, 
that such services shew the fixedness of the throne of heaven. Ad- 
ditions to the supply ot food and wealth all come out of the earth, 
Sh'^refore the emperor personally sacrificed to empress earth, in order 
to display the advantatres derived therefrom, and teach the; people 
faow to manifest gratitude to the source of blessings. Serving 
one's parents is the essence of benevolence ; and tiie sovereign served 
the representative of the dead with fiU.d respect, in order to diffuse 
the principles of benevolence and riifliteousness among those beneath 
liim. To treat as guests the Kwei Shins, and sacrifice to the hills and 
rivers, to set forth the importance of business, and sacrifice to the 
lares domeslici, these services were all performed with the view of 
diffusing the doctrines of rites and ceremonies. 

In the above passage we have jf^ the Ruling Power 
used for the Supreme, and honoured with the highest 
kind of sacrifice, while the Kwei Shins referred to are 
merely the g-enii of hills and rivers, who are treated as 
guests by their votaries. The next sentence goes on 
to say, 

*' Hence it is, that when ceremonies are employed 
in offering th-e border sacrifice (to the Ruling Power), 
then the hundred Shins receive their appointments ; 
when ceremonies are used In sacrificing to the lares rus- 
tici^ then the different sources of wealth may be car- 
ried out to the utmost ; when ceremonies are observed 
in the ancestorial temple, then filial and kind feelings 
are rendered subservient ; and when ceremonies are em- 
ployed towards the lares dome^iid^ then the regulations 
of the family are adjusted." 



The commentator Bay?, that this connects the idea of the former 
paragraph, which speaks of sacrifices heing offered to the Rulin? Power, 
at the horderof the countrj'. Sec. The hundred Shins receiving their 
appointnaeiits, means that they have to rei^ulate winds and rain, and 
suit the seasons of cold and heat, and to attend to these duties without 
committing any fault, or exposing themselves to reprehension. 

Thus it appears, that according; to Chinese ideas, 
the Shins receive their appointments fronn the Ruling 
Power, and have to attend to the business of meteoro- 
gical arrangements, in doing which, if they do not ma- 
nage properly, they will be considered faulty, and ex- 
posed to blame. On this account it was, that the peo- 
ple of the Loo country exposed their idols to the scorch- 
ing rays of the sun, during a drought, that they might 
experience some inconvenience on account of their 
mismanagement; a practice which is coatiuued to the 
present day. 

Then follows a remarkable passage : 

" Thus it is that ceremonies must date their origin 
from the >{;^ -— Supreme One ; he dividing, consti- 
tuted heaveu and earth ; revolving, he produced light 
and darkness ; changing, he brought about the four 
seasons ; and arranging, he appointed the Kwei Shins. 
Those things which they (the sages) have handed 
down (on this subject) are called their commands, 
and they have laid main stress on ( leriving their 
pattern from) Heaveij. 

The commentator says. That which is infinitely great is called >^ 
Supreme ; and that which is undivided is called One ; this is the 

principle of the >C fe Oreat Extreme, which including three, con- 
sists of one. Div.diijg he constituted heaven and earth, and then 
appe:»red the gradations of high and low, nobie and mean ; revolving 
he produced liirht and darkness, and then resulted the circumstances 
of felic ty and i,ifelicity» rewards and punishments ; changing he 
hrouVljt ahout the four seasons, and thence arose the difference of 
h'tiiftri and <!hortness in years and moons ; arranging he appointed 
the K.vti S ilus, and thence proceeded the duties of aclvnowledging 
the sour'ie of our bh^ssitigs. and of reverting to our original. Thvi 
sages, in arranging r;tes and ceremonies, always laid their foundation 
in this sch<3me oi things, ui order to send dowii their commands, and 
in 80 doing considered it of importance to take their pattern 

from Heaven. The word ^ kwan here is synoniraous with 3E 
choc, to coneider of main importance. 

Tile critical coumit-nlarv on this passage says, Tiiat the iii^i scuteuce 




of the above paragraph contains a eeneral intimation, the next four 
sentences all refer to the Supreme, while the Ust sentence pointe 
to the one word Heaven, intending to include heaven and eartii, light 
and darkness, the four seasons, and the Kwei Shins in that one term. 
When the sages regulated ceremonies, their appointments were also 

called 'np' commands, because they were thus settled once for all, 
not to be changed afterwards ; as when Hea\en decrees to bestow on 
each one of us our portion. When a thing is separated to several 
stations, the one above and the other below, it is said to be divided. 
When motion and rest are alternately pro iuced, it is ciHed rt volvinir. 
When things disperse and concrete irregularly, they are said to be 
changed ; and when thiiiirs contrast and expand in divers manners, 
they are said to be arranged. The two "'theySy' in the text, refer 
to the sages. 

The critical conimentary goes on to say, when we 
speak of the commencement ofvisihle things, we deno- 
m'nate it the ^^ ^^ first beginning ; a id when we speak 
of the conimei.ceiuent of numbers, we denominate it 
^ — the Supreme One. This Supreme One is the 
source of all the other four: (viz. heaven and earth, 
light and darkness, the four seasons, and the Kwei 
Shins). Before the three powers of nature (heavea 
earth and men) were divided, and before the myriad 
of things were produced, there existed this One alone : 
and the origin of all rites and ceremonies is really to 
be dated from this One. When the Su[)reme One di- 
vided, that which was above constituted heaven, and 
that which was beneath earth, aiid thus high and low 
were settled. When he revolved, stillness constituted 
the darkness and motion the light, thus the exhilirated 
and distressful feelings were d..^tingui.shed. Chang- 
ing, he brought about the four .seasons, then appeared 
the woiiderfuluess of their i..terchanuing and mov- 
ing on ; and arranging, he appointed the Kwei Shins, 
when the work of their producing and perfecting w^ere 
displayed. Thus wonderful was the Supreme One. 
'i he sages exhausted that which was inscrutdble, and 
understood transformations, meditating and compre- 
hending all in their own minds ; and from this appoint- 
ed rites and ceremonies and handing them down to the 
people, their words weie called commands. In requir- 
ing thefce ceremonies to be honourable or mean, ex- 


alted or iDferior, they took the altitnde and depression 
of heaven and earth as their pattern ; in fixing* these 
ceremonies to refer to lucky or unlucky events, rewards 
or punishments, they took their pattern from the exhi- 
liration or distress produced by light and darkness ; 
in settling the services to be performed an occasion of 
the years or moons being long or short, they took their 
pattern from the chanires of the four seasons ; and in 
appointing those rites which acknowledged the sources 
of our blessings, or reverted to our original, they took 
their pattern from the arrangements of the Kwei Shins ; 
in all this, there was not one ceremony that did not 
date its origin from the spontaneousness of the Su- 
preme One, hence it is said, that the sages took their 
pattern from Heaven. 

vVe have be n thus particulai in giving all the com- 
ments and explanations that could be brought to bear 
on the above e5< tract, beciuse we think it one of great 
import mce. Tb'^ object the writer had in view was 
to sht^vv, that all tne ceremonies appointed bv the sages 
had reference to the Su[>reme One, and took his ope- 
rations for their pattern. Thus as the Supreme One 
constituted heaven above and earth Leneath, so rites 
and observances were to be of a higher or a lower or- 
der, accordin*; to the oi)ject vrorshipf)ed ; and as the 
darkness and light, which revolved by his appointment, 
sometimes produced exhilirated, and at other times 
mournful feelings, so the ceremonies appointed by the 
sages, had respect to lucky or unlucky events, and to 
the rewards or punishment ex[)erienced. Further, as the 
four seaso^^s changed at his bidding, so the ceremonies 
appointed by the s iges had reference to the early or 
late arrival of the revolving feasts ; and as the Kwei 
Shins were parcelled out and appointed to various offi- 
ces at his command, so the sages appointed the cere- 
monies of acknowledginjj: the blessings caused by the 
operations of the celestial and terrestrial Shins, and 
the services intended for recalling to mind our original 
ancestors. But what we wish particularly to notice 
here is, the striking reference to the Supreme One^ 



made in the above quotation, marking at once the uni- 
ty and supremacy of the Deity. We have rendered 
the word ^ Supreme, because the commentator says, 
that that which is j^ ";^ infinitely great, is called "js^ 
Supreme : while that which is undivided, is called — • 
one ; thus the ^ "~^ must mean the Supreme One, or 
the infinitely great and undivided One. Bearing in 
mind also, that this paragraph follows another, in which 
1^ the Rulirg Power is honoured with the hitihest 
adoration, and that thin Tiding Power is the same with 
the Being here called the Supreme One, there can be no 
do«iht that the reference in the whole passage, is to the 
Almighty One who lules over nil things. 'Ihe critical 
commentary makes this still more plain, by saying that 
this Supreme One is the source of all others, and that 
he e^is(ed before the powers of nature were d'vided, 
and before the myriad of things wern produced, the one 
only being. The operations ascriijed to him of divi- 
ding heaven and earth, of revolving liglit and darkness, 
of chanj^ing the ft)ur seasons, and of appointing the va- 
rious Kwei hhins to their several offices, are all indica- 
tive of that Omnipotent Power, which must be ascri- 
l)ed to him alone. How the Chinese came by these 
ideas, or how they have aliowed them to become ob- 
scured by the admixture of erroneous notions, we do 
not now stop to enquire ; the one mny be sufficiently ac- 
counted for bv referring their early notions to the tradi- 
tionary knowledge derived from the sons of Noah ; and 
the other to the corrupt affections of the human heart, 
which led them in the lapse of ages to wander away 
from the truth, as we know other nations of antiquity 
have done. The reference in the commentary to the 
^ ^ Great extreme, which ^ S 3^ — including 
three consists of only one, seems to bear some allusion 
to the mysterious doctrine of the Trhiity, which may 
have been derived by tradition from the patriarchal 
age. And no doubt the expressions employed may be 
very profitably applievl by Christian writers to that glo- 
rious and wonderful topic. But as we are unwilling to 


ascribe to the Chinese more thnn what they give them- 
selves credit for, we would rather suppose that by this 
phrase '* including three, and yet consisting of one," 
they mean to allude to their own ideas of cosmogony, 
which considers ^ Tf* the potvers of nature to be 
three, namely ^ S^ /^heaven, earth, and man ; but 
that in the beginning, these three may be traced up to ^ 
— ' the Supreme One. Upon the whole, we have no 
little reason to rejoice that the Divine Being has not 
left himself wnthout witness in this dark land, while 
we lament over the obscurity with wh ch human philo- 
sophy has contrived to darker, the glimmerings of truth 
here and there presenting themselves. With regard to 
the Kw«i Shins, alluded to in the above extract, we c m- 
not help seeing, that they occupy a very inferior place in 
the theory of oui author. The text speaks of them as 
arranged, by which is meant their being parcelled out 
iiito higher and lower, near and distant ; while the 
commentary talks of the rites, which are perfjrmed be- 
fore them, beiuij, enacted with a view to acknowledge the 
sources of our blessings, and to revert to our original. 
All this has reference to the Chinese ideas of the Kwel 
Shins, so oflen set forth in these pages, as consisting of 
celestial JrSliins and teriestrial K'hes, (who by caus- 
ing thi igs to ^row, are the sources of blessings,) or as 
representing the manes of our more immediate ances- 
tors, who as bringiiig us into the world, may be consi- 
der< d our orlgnmi ; to these may be added the outside 
genii, presiding over hiils and rivers, who are honour- 
ed by those in oliicc, iiut in all of these cases, both 
the Kwei and the bLins are repiebunted as being ap- 
pointed by the Supreme Povver, and used by him in 
bringing out the various effects supposed to result from 
their agency. The paraphrase speaks of the works of 
production anxl completion as resulting from the ar- 
rangement of the Kwei Shins, fiom which we are to un- 
derstand that the Kwei Shins are employed by nature 
in producing and transforming things, which work is^ 
))ronght about by the contractings and expandings as- 
cribed to ihi^sc invisible beings. 



On the 63d page of the same hook, crrouiotiies are 
epoken of as the great msitters oinployed in nourishing 
the living and accompanying the dead, as well as in 
serving the Kwei Shins ; by which is meant that rites 
are serviceable in the visible world, to testify our re- 
gard to the living-, and in the invisible world, to mani- 
fest our respect towards the dead, as well as to those 
spiritual beings to whom it is customary to offer sacri- 
fice. The same idea is presented on the 66th page. 

In the 5th section of the Book of Rites, and the first 
page, we are told that " when the good man makes a 
proper use of ceremonies, those with^>^t will be harmo- 
nized, and those within will be contented, thu3 men 
will universally experience his lenevolence, and the 
Kwei Shins will enjov his virtue." In which sentence 
the Kwei Shins refer to invisil)le beir^gs in general, 
who are supposed to enjuy the sacrifices which are offer- 
ed to them. 

On the next page, we read that " rites and ceremo- 
nies should be suited to the celestial seasons, appointed 
according to terrestrial advantages, compliant with^ 
the Kwei Shins, agreeable to human feelings, and ac- 
cording to the principles of all things ; then the celes- 
tial seasons will be productive, terrestrial arrangements 
I will be suitable, human officers will be capaf)le, and 
the peculiarities of things will be profitable. Thus it 
I is that when heaven does not produce, and earth does 
not nourish, the good man considers the rites offered 
not to be accordin;^ to propriety, and that therfore the 
Kwei Shins will not enjoy them. In worshipping hilN 
CO present fishes or tortoises, or in honouring marshes 
to offer stags or pigs, the good man w^ould consider as 
indicating an ignorance of propriety". 

The Kwei Shins above, are those which are the objects of sacrifice, 
but the sacrifices ofi^ered must be agreeable to their rank and position, 
according to the proper season of the year, and the nature of the soil, 
or they will not be accepted and enjoyed. 

On the 5th page of the same section, we read, " that ' 
in Sacrificing to the Kwei Shins, a single n^at should 
he employed." 

•The coinineutcitor shvs, that the Kwei Shuis lue (lifi'meiit tVon^ 


men, and therefore it is not necegsary to use double raats^ or to muke 
then) soft and warm. It is ou the same principle, perhaps, that the 
modern Chinese, in worshipping their idols, fill up the basins and 
dishes with paper, and merely sprinkle a little fruit and vegetables on 
the top, because it is not necessary to glut them with too much sub- 
stantial food. 

On the 29th page of the same section, we read, 
" When the villagers were eAorcising demons, Con- 
furius put on his court-dress, and stood at the stairs 
(of the ancestorial temple), that he mi^^ht retain the 
Shins in the inner apartments (of the buiidifi^.") 

The commentator, says, t!u\t this was d)ne lest the S';>i'is should 
be alarmed, but that seeinir him thus attire I they mii^lit rely on him, 
and leel contentid to remain. Accor.iini; to the usual rites, a great 
officer was to j)ut on a court dn^ss in orrer to sacrifice, therefore he 
wore a court dress to pacify the ^ hins (and make them think that he 
was come to sacrifice ) 

It is evident that the Shins above spok'^n of are those worshipped 
in the ancestorial temple, aud therefore the manes of ancfstoi s. 
On the 3 1 st page, we read that 
" The offerings to the ^ lares rustici were present- 
ed, \Aith the view of honouring the earth as a jjj^ Shin. 

Here the word Shin is employed as a verb, as if it were said to 
Shin tht earth, or to honour the earth with the services generally paid 
to the Shins. 

On the 37th page, we read that " the off.^rings in the 
sacrificial vessels are the productions of the wuter and 
land ; for such purposes the offerers do not dare to use 
common and t^isteless things, while they consider it of 
importance to >iave a variety of viands, in order to car- 
ry out th« idea of hokhng intercourse with ||^ 33 in- 
visible and intelligent beings." 

The commentator tells us, that the invisible beings here referred 
to, are such as are worshipped in the ancestorial temple, and conse- 
quently the manes of royal predecessors, who were to be thus treated 
with a variety of tastes. In the same, and i the following oaragraph, 
the same words occur, with the same meaning attached t© them. 

On the 4 1 st page of the same section, treating on 
the subject of nmrriage. we read : 

*' A black crown, with fasting and watching-, is the 
way to serve the Kwei J^hins, as well as the male and 
female principle of nature. The same is the case also 
(with regard to marriages which are contracted) with 
the view of obtaining some one to perpetuate the j^ ^ 



the larfs rustici, and principally respect obtaining suc- 
cessors for our ancestors ; can they therefore be con- 
ducted without reverence ^ 

The commentator says, that the Kwei are the spiritual or vital parts 
of the female principle, and the Shins the spiritual or vital parts of 
male principle of nature. Hence the association of these terms to- 
gether. The ceremonies of marriage, he adds, are conducted with the 
view of getting- posterity, to preside at the sacrifices to the lares of the 
family, aijd of carrying on the services of the ancestorial temple ; with 
reference to sacrifices to ancestors, therefore, reverence cannot be 
dispensed with in their performance. 

The paraphrase says, that the Kwei Shin, and the male and female 
principle of nature, here refer to the lares of the family, and the manea 
of ancestors. 

On the 46th page of the same section we read ; 

" Whether you offer in sacrifice the whole or the 
divided carcase of the victim, and whether you present 
the flesh parboiled or thoroughly done, how can you 
conceive that the Shins enjoy the offering ^ it is only 
presented with the view of carrying out the respectful 
feelingsof the worshipper to the utmost. He lifts up 
the cup or vase, to inform or tranquillize the f^ per- 
son representing the corpse of the dead. Among the 
ancients, when no particular business called for his at- 
tention, this representative of the corpse stood ; but 
when there was anything to do, (such as eating or 
drinking) he sat down. This representative of the corpse 
was looked upon as the jfj^ f^ image of the Shin, while 
^ the offerer of prayer was ^ -^ the medium ot com- 
munication (between the Shins and the worshippers.)" 

The commentator says, that when the representative of the corpse 
first approached the table, and when the cup or vase was lifted up, 
the oft'erer of prayer directed the superintendent of the sacrifice to 
make obeisance to the representative, in order to tranquillize him, 
and get him to sit down. This representative was considered as the 
image of the person sacrificed to, hence he was called the image of 
the Shin ; while the offerer of prayer first took the worshipper's ex- 
pressions and announced them to the Shin, and afterwards took 
the utterance ol the Shin (or of this person supposed to be the image 
of the same) and blessed the worshipper : hence he was called the 
medium of communication. 

The representative of the corpse, mentioned in the 
above extract, was generally the descendant of the per- 
son sacrificed to, who was suj>posed to possess a por- 



tion of the ^ energies of his progenitor, and, wearing 
the clothes of the deceased, was placed in the chair ap- 
pointed for him, and sacrificed to as if he were the 
forefather himself. This representative partook of the 
viands offered, heard the prayers addressed, and di- 
rected such answers to be delivered as he thought pro- 
per, which were supposed to come from the deceased 
ancestor. Hence he was called fj^ ^ the image of 
the Shir. Other images it does not appear that the 
Chinese at that time made use of, except the j^ straw 
or wooden followers to the grave, which were interred 
or burned at the tomb, to serve as attendants to the dead 
in the other world. It must be evident, however, from 
all this, that the word Shin, in the above extract, refers 
only to the manes of ancestors. 

In the 7th section of the Book of Rites, treating on 
music, w^e have various references to the subject under 

On the 10th page, the writer speaks of ceremony 
and music, that " when the one is played up on the in- 
struments made of gold and gems, or vibrates in beau- 
tiful sounds, and the other is used in the ancestori- 
al temple, or before the lares rustici, and employed in 
the service of the genii of the hills and rivers, or of the 
(Kwei Shin,) they are all what the people in com- 
mon may understand and appreciate." 

In the above extract the Kwei Shiij, being mention- 
ed separately from the ancestorial temple or the altars 
of the lares, as well as distinguished from the genii of 
hills and rivers, must mean the expanders and con- 
tracters of nature who are the objects of sacrifice. 

On the l2th page of the same section, we read, that, 

" Music is intended for the promotion of harmony, 
thus it leads forth the Shins, and follows the pattern 
of heaven ; ceremonies are meant for distinguibhing 
that which is suitable, thus they settle the Kwei, and 
follow the example of earth : therefore the sages in- 
vented music to correspond with heaven, while they 
appointed ceremonies to associate with earth : cerenio- 


nies and music being thus clear and perfect, heaven 
and earth performed their various offices." 

The commentator says^ that to promote harmony is to give weight 
to that in which energies assimilate ; to distinguish the suitable, is to 
separate that in which things are dissimilar. To lead forth the Shins, 

is to follow out the expandings of their ^^ energies ; to settle the 
Kwei, is to collect the contractions of the said energies. Espansion 
is the male principle of nature, and complies with heaven ; contraction 
the female, and follows earih. From this it would appear, that the 
excellence of the ceremonii' i^nd music established by the sages con- 
sists in their invention and regulation ; when these are clear and per- 
fect, they may be ascertained and known. The performing of offices 
raentioned in the text, rneans^, that heaven produces things, and earth 
completes them, each one according to its peculiar office. 

The paraphrase says, that the Shins belong to the male princi- 
ple of nature, and heaven is that in which the male principle accu- 
mulates; music also comes from the male principle of nature (or ori- 
ginates with the visible world) therefore it leads forth the Shins, and 
complies with heaven. The Kweis belong to the female principle 
of nature, and the earth is that in which the female principle concen- 
trates ; ceremonies also are invented on account of the female prin- 
ciple of nature, (or are appointed for the sake of invisible beings) 
therefore they settle the Kweis, and accord with earth. To lead, means 
to draw out and ascend, to settle, means to bend down and complete ; 
heaven and earth have their spontaneous ceremonies and music, while 
the sages co-operate with the suitabilities of heaven and earth ; thus 
tliey invented music to correspond with heaven, and appointed cere- 
monies to associate with earth ; from hence ceremonies and music 
were clear and perfect, and heaven and earth severally suited their 

By the Kwei Shins, in the ahove extract, are evident- 
ly intended the expanding and contracting energies of 
nature, or the invisible beings who are supposed to su- 
[)erintend those elastic quahties of the universe. Mu- 
sic is supposed to have a rousing etre^;t, in calling forth 
and stirring the energies of the Shin, while ceremonies 
have a sedative tendency, in pacifying and settling the 
disturbance of the Kwei. The sages bring these two 
to perfection, and thus. co-operate wdth heaven and earth. 
On the 1 4th page of the same section, we read, 
" When we carry out ceremonies and music to the 
utmost, they extend their influence to the very height 
of heaven, they recoil in their etfeet down to the earth, 
they move the male and female principles of nature, 
^nd pervade the Kwei Shins." 


The commentator says, that music proceeds from spontaneous har- 
mony, and ceremonies come from the natural arrangement of things. 

The paraphrase says, when ceremonies and music induce heaven to 
send down its fattening dews, this is carrying their influence up to 
heaven ; when they cause earth to bubble up its sweet springs, this 
is recoiling in their effects towards the earth ; when they bring about 
that the days and months, years and seasons, are regular, so that the 
various kinds of grain come to perfection, this is their moving the 
male and female principle of nature ; and when they are used in sacri- 
ficing to the Kwei Shins, while the hundred Shins approach, this is 
their pervading of the Kwei Shins. 

The Kwei ^hins here alluded to are those contracting 
and expanding energies of nature which are the objects 
of sacrifice. 

On the 22d page of the same book, after speaking 
oi the excellent effects of music, the writer says, 
" When feeUng is dpep, the elegant expression of it 
will be clear ; as when the energies of nature are full, 
and their transformations |^ mysterious, so harmony 
will be collected within, and ornament displayed with- 
bvi,^ ^hus it is that music cannot admit of hypocrisy." 

The eommentatoi: says, that j|[^ Shin, in the above passage, means 
mysterious and unfathomable, y 

On the 25th page, the Writer speaks of music, as 
" carrying out the virtues of |^ |^ invisible and in- 
telligible beings, and of its bringing down or eleva- 
ting the superior or inferior Shins." By which are 
meant the celestial Shins, and terrestrial K'hes, who 
are supposed to be influenced by ceremonies and music, 
at the time of sacrifice. 

On the 36th page we read, 

" The good man has said, that ceremonies and mu- 
sic must not for a moment be separated from one's-self. 
Carrying out music, in order to regulate the mind, then 
the arranging and rectifying of the feeling of kindness 
and consideration abundantly springs up ; when the 
arranging and rectifying of kind and considerate feeling 
springs up, then delight ensues ; from delight springs 
tranquillity, tranquillity grows up into lengthened con- 
tinuance, lengthened continuance brings about ^^ the 
natural order of things, and nature produces that 



which i"? IJi^ mysterious. When the feeling is natural, 
then without speaking it induces belief, and when mys- 
terious, then without wiath the mind is roused. This 
is the effect of carrying out music, for the purpose of 
regulating the mind." 

Here the commentator says, that Shin means mysterious and un- 

(n the 8th section, and 29th page of the Book of 
Rites, we read, 

" They buried the small ox at the T'hae-chaou al- 
tar, in order to sacrifice to the four seasons ; they 
went to meet and escort (the changes of the weather) 
at the hollowed out and raised altars, in order to sacri- 
fice to cold and heat ; in the royal palace, they sa- 
crificed to the sun ; on clear nights, they sacrificed to 
the moon ; on dark evenings, they sacrificed to the 
stars ; and with invocations, they sacrificed to droughts 
and inundations ; while at the four hollowed out and 
elevated altars they sacrificed to the four quarters. 
Those which presided over hills, forests, rivers, vallies, 
mounds, and hillocks, that could produce clouds, wind, 
and rain, with diverse strange appearances, were all 
called Shins. The ruler of the empire sacrificed to 
the hundred Shins ; the princes of the empire, also, as 
long as they possessed their various states, sacrificed to 
them, but when they lost their states, they did not sa- 
crifice to them." 

From the above, it is evident, that the Shins referred 
to were the genii of the hills and rivers, who were sup- 
posed to have influence over the wind and rain. 

On the 39th page of the same section, the writer, 
having described the preparation of all things necessa- 
ry for the sacrifice to ancestors, says, " that then fol- 
lows the announcement of the feelings of those engag- 
ed, who display extreme anxiety in their intercourse 
with 1^83 invisible and intelligent beings, hoping 
that they may perhaps accept of the offering : that 
they mav indeed accept of them, is the fervent wish of 
the" filial child." 

From the nature of the sacrifice here presented, and from the men- 


tion of the worshipper under the title of a filial child, it is evident that 
the invisible and intelligent beings here mentioned, refer to the manes 
of ancestors. 

On the 44th page of the same section, we read, 
" The ceremonies used throughout the whole empire, 
are those which carry out our feeliugs of gratitude to- 
wards the cause of our existence, and of reverence to 
the Kwei Shins ; those which respect the promotion of 
harmony and wealth, those also which have reference 
to the establishment of righteousness and concession. 
The carrying out of gratitude towards the cause of our 
existence, ig in order to shew our abundant regard for 
our origin : the carrying out of reverence towards ihe 
Kwei Shins, is in order to testify our honour for those 
above ; the promotion of useful articles, is in order to 
establish, the arrangements of the people ; the esta- 
blish mept of righteousness, is in order to prevent superi- 
ors and inferiors from opposition and rebellion ; the in- 
ducement of concession, is in order to do away with 
wrangling. Let these five be united, in order to con- 
stitute the ceremonies for regulating the empire, and 
although strange and perverse people should spring up, 
the instances of failure in the regulation of the empire 
will le rare." 

The paraphrase says, that the requiting of heaven and the honour- 
ing of ancestors, ia the carrying out of gratitude towards the causes of 
OLjr existence ; the b^ing pur^ within, and properly apparelled witli- 
out, is the way to testify onr reverence towards the Kwei Shins.'* 

Ihe next sentence is much to the purpose, as it re- 
gards the present question. " Tsae-gno said, I have 
heard of the names of the Kwei Shins, but 1 do not 
knpw whc^t they mean ^ To which Confucius replied. 
The ^ k'he, or finer part of the human spirit, is the 
fulness of the Shin, and the ii^ pib, or grosser part 
of the human corstitution, is the fulness of the Kwei ; 
to unite the Kwe; with the Shin, is the excellence of 
the true doctrine," 

Th6 comtnentjiry on. this passage, is nearly similar to that on the 
celebrated chapter regarding the Kwei Shin, in the Happy Medium, 
"which has already been considered. To this may be added the re- 
marks of Fang-she, who says, that the 5Jg^ more elevated part of the 


animal soiil, and the i|^ finer parts of the human spirit, return to 

heaven ; while the J^ bodily form, and gj^ the grosser parts of the 
human constitution, revert to earth ; therefore it is necessary to unite 
the Kvvei with the Shin, in order to constitute the excellence of the 
true doctrine. 

The paraphrase says, that which enables men to move and act, is 

the ^ spiritual part of their nature ; the form and Substance of the 

human body constitute the wjg^ grosser parts of man. At death, 

the ^2 more intelligent part of the ^^ spirit becomes the Shin, 

while the ^S more subtile part of the B^ gross substance becomes 

the Kvvei ; thus it is, that the ^ finer spirit is the fulness of tha 

Sl)\n, and the Q^ grosser constitution the fulness of the Kwei While 

jieople are alive, however, the y^ finer spirit and the Bjg^ grosser 
constitution are united : at death the finer spirit of the man ascends, 
while the grosser part of human nature descends, and thus, thoy are 
separated. The sage, however, joins the Kwei with the Shin, as 
before, in order to establish his doctrine ; thus his instructions do 
not fall into emptiness and nonentity, but his ideas and intentions are 
shewn to be deep and distant. The words finer spirit and grosser 
form are used with respect to men as living ; while the terms Kwei 
and Shin are employed with especial reference to them when dead. 
This is taking the fin«rr spirit and grosser substance of men when a- 
live, to illustrate the Kwei Shins, which are sacrificed to after death. 
The critical commentary says, The Shins are formed of the male 
or light principle of nature, the Kweis of the female or dark princi- 
ple. When the sage speaks of the finer spirit, then we may knotv 

that the grosser substance constitutes the j]^ outward form ; and when 
he speaks of the grosser part of nature, then we may know that the finer 

part constitutes the ^J^ more elevated animal soul. This elevated part 
of the animal soul is also the Shin ; but this only refers to the 
spirit, because the spirit is the foundation of the finer part of the ani- 
mal soul ; but this 3^ soul is not the fulness of the ^ finer spirit. 
The outward form is also the Kwei, but this only refers to the groS!?er 
part of human nature, because the outward form is the fc^undatfon 
of the grosser part of the animal soul, but thii« outward lorm is nof the 
fulness of the Kwei. The sage lays stress on ttie fulness (of the one 
or the other,) and therefore only speaks ©f the finer spirit and of the 
grosser part of the human constitution. The finer spirit ascends 
only, and the grosser part of human nature descends only : but the 
sage can search out and unite these two, in order to instruct the world; 
therefore it is said that such instructions constitute the summit of 
right ductrhie. 

From the above it is evident, that Confucius consider- 
ed both the Kwei and the Shin to originate with human 
beings ; and, as far as human Kweis and fehins are eon- 


cerned, not to have any existence until after men are 
dead ; then the more ^ross parts of the animal soul 
constitute the Kwei, which descends to earth, contracts, 
shrivels up, and finally reverts to nothing* ; while the 
finer parts of the human spirit constitute the Shin, 
which ascends towards heaven, expands, wanders a- 
bout, and is capable of being influenced by the sacii- 
fices of descendants (who possess the same ^ spirit 
or energy,) and comes down to enjoy sacrilices and 
confer blessings. An inconsistency, however, is ap- 
parent in this scheme, viz. the uniting" of the finer and 
grosser parts of the human constitution, which at death 
are said to be separated, »nto the Kwei Shin, which is 
the object of worship ; but the Chinese, instead of per- 
ceiving this inconsistency, admire it /as the excellence 
of the true doctrine. 

" All living men must die, and at death return to 
earth, this is what is called the Kwei ; the bones, and 
flesh decay under ground, and thus covered up be- 
come common earth ; while the ^ finer part of 
their spiritual nature is diffused and expanded aloft, and 
becoming brightly illumined ascends like a fragrant 
vapour, or produces a mournful feeling, these are the 
substile essences of animals, and the displays ofthe Shin. 

Among the commentators, Choo-foo-tsze says, that when the Kwei 
Shins as it were display a flash of light, this is their being brightly 

illumined ; that when their ^^ finer spirit mounts upwards, this is 
their ascending like a fragrant vapour ; and that when they cause men's 
animal spirits to be agitated with fear, this is their producing a painful 
and mournful feeling. The same commentator also says, their being 
illumined signifies their bright shining ; their ascending like a va- 
pour means their being collected together in a cloud ; their produc- 
ing a mournful feeling refers to the leeling of awe which they inspire. 
He further observes, "that this ilhmiination is a sort of brightness , 
or halo of glory ; the fragrant ascending asof a vapour refers to their 

^^ finer spirit affecting men's senses ; and the mournful feeling pro- 
duced by them conveys the same idea with that expression in tke 
books of Han, about the mystq^ious prince approaching and his in- 
fluence being awe-inspiring. He remarks again, that the fragrant 
ascending as of vapour spoken of, is the Kwei Shin, with our animal 
sp rits, mutually influencing each other. 

The paraphrase says, that the J^ energies of human nature must 


some tirtoe become exhausted, and death is that which men cannot 

avoid ; at death the w^ grosser part of the man descends and returns 
to earlh, and therefore is called the Kwei ; that part which reverts 
to earth is the bonas and the flesh, \Yhich decay in secret, and become 

Common earth ; but the ^ finer part« of the spiritual nature diffuse 
and expand throughout the world, and become either a light that 
appears occassionally, or a fragrant vapour that sometimes affects 
men's senses, or else it is something that causes men's spirits to be 

depressed and mournful ; these are the vf^ ^§ subtile essences of 
things, and thus it is, that the actions of the Shin cannot be concealed. 
The critical commentary says, that when men's form and sub- 
stance are united with their yf^ more spiritual essence, then they live; 
at death, the outward form and the more spiritual essence separat*, 

the 1^ subtile and ^^ re^ed part of their spiritual essence expands 
and diffuses, and mounting aloft becomes {[jlf W^ an invisible 

and spiritual, TC Bfl * bright and intelligent being. The spiritu- 
al essence of the various kinds of things (or different animals) whether 
fragrant or offensive mounts aloft, and sends forth its fumes like a va- 
pour. When men smell this, their feelings are mournful and dis- 
tressed. In this respect men have something in commoii with the 
different animals ; but men exceed in feeling and knowledge, while 
their spiritual essence diffusing and expa^ndiiig aloft, becomes very 
bright and illumined ; this is the display of the S!»lns of men, and 
hence it that the writer merely speaks of the Shtn. 

In the above extract, the sage speaks more particular- 
ly of the finer and grosser part of the hum in constitu- 
tion at death. The one sinks to earth and mixes with 
other mould, while the other ascending and expanding 
is sometimes perceptible to human senses, in flashes 
of light, or fragrant vapours, or its presence is perceiv- 
ed by a certain mournful feeling of which sirvivors 
are conscious. These are no doubt the ignis fatuus 
of swampy land, near which cemeteries are frequently 
located ; or the effluvia, whether pleasant or otherwise, 
arising from the tombs ; or some peculiar state of the 
atmosphere, which produces the depression spoken of. 
We can easily trace these to natural causes, but the 
superstitious minds of the Chinese lead them to infer 
from such appearances or impressions, that the Kwei 
Shin are near, and therefore the fit objects jaf worship. 
The writer knows a temple built in a lonely spot, 
simply in consequence of a few passero by having ob- 



served the phosphorescent appearance of some decay- 
ing fish, that had been thrown out near the spot at 
night, from which people inferred the presence of the 
Shins, and erected the temple accordingly. The Chi- 
nese imagine also that there is a sort of subtile essence 
belonging to the various kinds of animals, though this 
is inferior to the Shins of men, in possessing less feel- 
ing and knowledge. 

The sage goes on to say, 

" Observing the subtile essences ofthings, (*he sages) 
in their regulations honoured them to the utmost, and 
clearly appointed them to be the Kwei Shins, that they 
might be patterns for the black-haired people ; thus all 
classes would fear them, and the myriads of the people 
submit to them." 

The commentator says, that observing the subtile and spiritual es- 
sences of things, that could not be concealed, the sages in their ar- 
rangements assigned them a most honourable title, and publicly desig- 
nated them the Kwei Shins, that they might be the patterns to the 
empire ; thus the people knew what they should venerate, and did 
not dare to be disrespectful ; they knew also what they should submit 
to, and did not presume to disobey. 

The paraphaase says, that this passage speaks of the Kwei Shins 
as united, and constitutes the substance of the sage's instruction. They 
publicly designated the Kwei Shins, causing people to know their 
efficaciousness, and that they might be relied on, thus becoming pat- 
terns for the people. The critical commentator says, that the Kwej 

Shins are the ^^ finer and the 0^ grossser parts of the spiritual 
nature of men and animals ; but if they were merely called by these 
names, the appellation would not be sufficiently honourable ; there- 
fore the sages, observing the subtile essences of men and animals after 
death, designated them in their regulations by the most honourable 
title, and appointed them to be Kwei Shins, thus uniting the two 
kinds of invisible beings. The force of the expression rests very 
much Oh this idea of union. 

From the above we learn, that Confucius carried out 
his idea of the finer and grosser parts of man's spiritu- 
al nature, which became separated at death, and uniting 
them again conceived the notion of the Kwei Shins, or 
invisible beings, who were the objects of sacrifice and 
of dread to the people. Hence the worship which is 
paid to the manes of ancestors, and the custom of depend- 
ing on departed progenitors. This is, however, very far 
from considering them the original authors of existence. 



or the supreme disposers of affairs, and only represents 
them as a sort of secondary beings, derived from de- 
ceased men and animals, and exhibiting themselves 
occassianally as meteors or vapours near the graves of 
the departed. 

In the 58th page of the 8th section, we meet with 
the expression, " above being obedient to the Kwei 
Shins, and abroad submissive to princes and superiors," 
spoken with reference to a filial descendant presenting 
sacrifices to the manes of his ancestors: so that the 
meaning in this passage cannot be a matter of doubt. 

In the 62d page of the same section, the J^ repre- 
sentative of the deceased at a sacrifice is said "to eat 
the leavings of the Kwei Shins," because after the ani- 
mals had been slain, their blood and raw flesh was 
presented to the Kwei Shins, while the dressed food 
was presented on sacrificial vessels to the representa- 
tive of the deceased, who ate it, and was thus said to 
€at the leavings of the Kwei Shins. In this passage 
the simpk mention of the representative of the decased, 
who was generally some lineal descendant, shows that 
the Kwei Shins spoken of refer to the manes of ancestors., 

On the 64th page we read, "That sacrifices have 
ten objects, which are apparent in the way in which 
men serve the Kwei Shins, in the righteousness exhi- 
bited between princes and ministers, in the relations 
observed between parents and children, in the classi- 
fication to be maintained amongst noble and mean," 
and so on to the number of ten. 

In the following sentence, the first of these objects is 
thus explained : 

" Spread the mat, and set one and the same ta- 
ble for the Shins to rest on : let the crier and the 
-chaplain perform their part of the service in the 
inner apartment, after which they are to go out 
"into the gateway of the temple. This is the way in 
which to hold intercourse with |^ H^ invisible beings." 

The commentator says, that when people are aliVe they ppsee«s 
differept bodies, therefore in the relations of husband and wife a dia- 


tihcJtIon of duties U tobb observed ; but at death their ^ J^ iub^ 
tiW easences are not divided, therefore only one table is set lor them 
to lean on. The crier and chaplain are to announce the 
business in hand to the representative of the dead in the fnner 
apartment, and afterwards to go out to the gateway, and on the next 
day arrange the sacrifice, on one side of the gateway of the ancestorial 
temple ; because it was not qnite certain whether the Shins were 
here or there ; therefore it is said, this is the way to hold intercourse 
'^ith invisible beings. 

From this reference to the representative of the 
dead, and the ancestorial temple, it is evident that the 
Kwei Shins, or invisible beings, referred to in both 
passages, are none other than the manes of ancestors. 

In th6 §th section of the Hook of Rites, relating to 
the private intercourse of Confucius, and on the 9th 
page, one of his disciples "asked respecting ceremo- 
nies, whether they were not calculated to restrain the 
bad and perfect the good ^ to which the sage replied, 
that they were. Again he asked, in what way "^ when 
Confucius said. The services performed at the ^|5 sacri* 
fice to heaven, and at the ^ sacrifice to earth, are 
those by which men shew their benevolence towards 
the Kwti Shins, (or the invisible beiogs belonging to 
heaven and earth.)" 

On t>ie 1 0th page, the writei* speaks of " the Kwei 
Shtns obtaining their proper enjoyment ;" which the 
commentator explains by saying, '* that the celestial 
Shins all coming down, the terrestrial K'hes all com- 
ing out, and the humar Kweis all drawing near, may 
obtain the proper ceremonies," and enjoy the viands 
provided for them in sacrifice. Thus the Kwei Shins 
in this passage, are the celestial and terrestrial Shins, 
or expanders of nature, together with the manes of de- 
ceased persons, usually sacrificed to by the Chinese. 

On the next page, the writer speaks of the Kwei 
Shins missing their accustomed enjoyment, where the 
idea is the same, only reversed. 

On the 19th page of the same book, the writer speak- 
ing of the sage says, that, 

" Clearnesss and Irightness are possessed in his 
own person, and that his mind and will are like the 


'Shins;" which the commentator explains to mean capa- 
ble of prescience, like the genii of wind and weather ; 
so that the word Shin is to be taken in the sense of in- 
scrutably intelligent, combined with some prognosti- 
eating quality ; as is the case with the weather, which 
when about to become rainy, always gives some inti- 
mation of it, by the gathering of clouds over the hills. 
On the 44th page of the same section, we read, 
" Confucius said, The principles of the Hea dynasty, 
consisted in hoiiouring (the virtuous nature) decreed 
(by heaven), also in serving the Kweis, and respecting 
the Shins, while they kept them at a distance. The 
rulers of that dynasty drew the people near them, to 
render them faithful ; hence they began by affording 
liberal emoluments, and afterwards endeavoured to in- 
fluence by terror ; they first rewarded, and then pun- 
ished, so that they were regarded with affection, but 
not with awe : and the faults of the people consisted in 
folly and stupidity, pride and wildness, bluntness and 
a want of polish. The rulers of Yin, on the contrary, 
honoui*ed the Shins, and led the people on to serve 
them, while they regarded the Kweis more then cere- 
monies, putting punishments in the first place and re- 
wards afterwards ; the result was a feeling of respect, 
but not of affection towardL the rulers, while the peo- 
ple erred in being dissolute and unquiet, emulative 
and regardless ot shame. The rulers of Chow, un- 
like these, honoured ceremonies and laid much stress 
on liberality, they served the Kweis and respected the 
Shins, while they kept them at a distance ; they also 
drew the people near them, to render them faithful ; 
the rewards and punishments administered, were ac- 
cording to the arrangements ot ranks ; the effect was 
that the rulers of that dynasty were more loved than 
feared, and the people erred in being gain-seeking 
and cunning, polished but shameless, injurious and 
obscured in mind." 

The commentator says, that the people of Yin, endeavouring to cor- 
rect the faults of their predecessors, leaned to the side of respect and 
dread, while they attended to the business of serving the Shins ; thus 


they lei the people on to regard the Kweis, which were beyond com- 
prehension, and to disregard ceremonies, which were easy to be under- 
stood : hence the dissoluteness and unquietness manifested by the 
people, were the results of a veneration and regard for the Kwei 
Shins. By the Kwei Shins here are meant, according to the pa- 
raphrase, those mysterious beings belonging to the invisible world, 
who are capable of arousing men and transforming things, and must 
be understood of thoee expanders and contracters of nature so often 
referred to. "> 

On the nex t page, we read, 

" Confucius said, The principles of the Hea dynasty 
did not allow them to make too free with words, while 
they did not expect perfection, nor require too much 
from the people ; thus the people were not backward in 
an affectionate regard to their superiors. The rulers of 
the Yin dynasty did not make too free with ceremo- 
nies, while they required a strict obedience from the 
people. The rulers of Chow compelled people to sub- 
mit to them, and did not make too free with the Shins, 
while rewaids and punishments were carried to the ut- 

The commentator says, that the one party did not make too free 
with words, because they honoured the decree (of Heaven) ; the other 
party did not make too free with ceremonies, because they put cere- 
monies in the back ground ; whilst the third party did not make too 
free with the Shins, because they respected the Shins but kept them 
at a distance. 

This passage is but a carrying out of the former 
sentence, and the meaning attached to the Shins is the 

On the 52nd page, we r6ad as follows : 
^'"Confucius spoke of the three dynasties of ancient 
times, that their enlightened raonarchs all served the 
jfl^ @8 invisible and enlightened beings of heaven and 
earth, in every case making use of prognostications 
and divinations, and not daring with private views and 
common feelings to serve the Supreme Ruler ; neither 
interfering with the proper days, nor offending against 
the prognostications and divinations ; while the prog- 
nostications and divinations did not entrench on one 

According to the paraphrase, this intimates that the emperor should 
to be respectful in the service of heaven and earth, and ought not to 


presume to perform it with common feelings. Those which belong 

to heaven, are called jjll^ Shtns, and those which belong to earth, 

are called tjj^ intelligent beings. Divinations and prognostications 
were used with the view of selecting the proper victim ; and it was 
considered necessary to employ such modes of ascertaining what was 
to be done, because people did not dare with their private and com- 
mon things to serve the Supreme Ruler. Therefore the days and 
months were fixed according to the two solstices, at which periods no 
other business was suffered to interfere with those services. The sa- 
crificial victims also were not taken in opposition to the decisions of 
the prognostications and divinations ; and whether the one or the other 
mode was employed, they were not allowed to interfere with each 

The writer goes on to say, 

" Great affairs have certain days appointed for them, 
while small affairs have no fixed days, but divinations 
in such cases were employed ; for outside matters hard 
days were chosen, and for internal matters soft days 
selected ; Confucius said, the perfect victims, being 
prepared, with the ceremonies and music, as well as 
the adjustings and purify ings, while nothing is done to 
offend against the diviuations and prognostications, 
then no injury will accrue to the Kwei Shins, nor la-, 
mentations be found among the people." 

The commentator on this passage says, that great affairs, refer to 
the sacrificing to great Shins, and small affairs, to the offerings made 
to little Shins. The services performed towards hills and rivers, are 
the outside matters, while those enacted in the ancestorial temple, are 
the internal affairs. All things being in proper order, the minds, of ^^ 
the Shins and men would be rendered agreeable. Not to sustain \ 
injury, means that the Kwei Shins would approach ; not to complairt," 
means that the people would enjoy happiness. The Kwei Shins are 
capable of happiness and misery, therefore of the Kwei Shins it 
is said, no injury will accrue. The people are capable of enjoyment 
and sorrow, therefore of the people it is said, they will not complain. 

In the above passages, we have one peculiarity not 
met with before, viz. the division of the |^ invisible 
and the §3 intelligent beings, one class being assigned 
to heaven, and the other to earth. We cannot, howe- 
ver, from this draw any inference to indicate that the 
Kwei Shins are different from anything, which we 
have before seen them to be. It does not appear from 
the Chinese author, What were intended by great, and 
what by little Shins, but it is supposed that the former 


refer to the genii presiding over the lara;er mountains 
and rivers, while the latter might intimate merely those 
that were supposed to rule over hillocks and stream- 
lets. The services of both the great and little Shins, 
however, seem to have belonged to outside matters, 
Avhile the sacrifices in the ancestorial temples were 
ranked among internal affairs. The injury apprehen- 
ded, as likely to accrue to the Kwei Shins, must refer 
to their being deprived of their accustomed sacrifices, 
or, from those sacrifices not being oifered according to 
propriety, their being prevented from enjoying them. 
In either case, it does not give us a very exalted opi- 
nion of the Kwei Shins, as being so dependent for their 
happiness and misery upon the sacrifices and services 
of men. 

On the 64th page, another reference to the Shins oc- 
curs, but as it is a quotation from the Shoo-king, alrea- 
dy considered, it is not worth while going over it again. 

We pass on now to the Yih-king, or Book of Dia- 
grams, and under the ^ Keen Diagram, lOth page, 
we read as follows : 

" The Great man (or the sage in power) associates 
in his virtue with heaven and earlh, assimilates in his 
brightness to the sun and moon, accords in his regular- 
ity with the four seasons, and corresponds in his happy 
or calamitous visitation* with the Kwei Shins. When 
he precedes 5C beaven, or nature (in the discovery of 
new inventions), nature does not revolt against his 
views ; and when he follows ^ heaven, or nature, he 
still complies with the seasons appointed by heaven ; 
seeing then that ^ heaven, or nature, does not oppose 
him, how much less can men, and ho(v much less caa 
the Kwei Shins ^ 

The commentator says, that the phrase *' the great man" in the 
above parai^iaph, is intended to explain the expression used under a 
preceding diagram, which speaks of the great man appearing for the 
advantage of mankind. When a person possesses the requisite virtue^ 
and fills tiie proper station, he can be considered in this light. Men, 
together with heaven and earth, as well as the Kwei Shins, have ori- 
ginally no two principles, but common men become obscured by the 
spirit of selfishness, thus being fettered by their fleshly bodies, ihey 



105 ' 

^sAnnot g€t a thorough perception of things ; the gr«?al; map, on th« fwp- 
trary, having no selfish views, and embodying right principles, cannot 
be said to be either this or that, first or last ? " Getting the start of na- 
ture, and meeting with no opposition," means that when he has an 
' inclination to do anything, his meditations coincide with the rule 
.pf jright ,; " following nature, and obeying its dictates," means that 
Jinpwing right principlea to be thus, he obediently complies with them. 
The paraphrase says, He thjit may be called a great man, and gip- 
pears for the advantage of the empire, is one who not only possesses 
,jiigh rank, but ^Iso virtue- Now with respect to virtue, there can he 
no greater virtue than that of heaven and earth, which sustains all, 
ftnd overappeads all withput distinction ; thus also the great nian 13 
extensively kind in giijstaining things, and exaltedly bright in ovei- 
$oreading things, so tl?at he unites in virtue (with heaven and earth.) 
.^Qoipg on from this, we perceive that betwixt heaven and earth, the 
i9,un a"d moon, in conformity with the rule of right, steadily display 
their brightness ; thus the great man, also, in knowledge extends to 
e\^ery place, and enlightens men on all sides without limitation, so 
that he unites in splendour (with the sun and moon.) Further, we 
see that the four seasons, according to the rule of right, alternately re- 
volve ; thus the great man, in the exercise of virtue, propriety, good 
government, and necessary inflictions, whether they should precede or 
fellow, be more rapid or more slow, in every instance acts according 
ie a certain order, thus he unites in regularity (with the four seasons.) 
Further we see, that the Kwei Shins, according to tht rule of right, 
-steadily prevail, while they bless the good and curse the bad ; so also 
•the great man, by rewards urges men on to goodness, and by punish- 
ment restrains their vicious propensities, by the exhibition of favour 
he illumines the virtuous, and by the display of terribleness, he curbs 
■the villainous, thus he unites (with the Kwei Shins) in bringing 
^own happinfss or misery on people. So true it is, that he combines 
in the exhibition of virtue with heaven and earth. Therefore whan 
he precedes heaven or nature, in opening out the minds of men, and 
in establishing those things which from of old until that time had ne- 
ver been known, the/i seeing that heaven or nature originally possess- 
<ed the principles referred to, it could of course make no opposition 
io the great man. So also \vj?,en he follows out the dictates of heaven 
^r nature, in establishing government, and in complying- with those 
things which human beings by their original constitution and the 
celestial decree possess in common, then as heaven or nature possess- 
es in itself these fixed principles, the great man could do no more 
than just obey the dictates of nature and act accordingly. In this 
tray, when he precedes nature, then this natural feeling, proceeding 
from himself, does not oppose ; and when he follows out the dictates 
of nature, then this natural feeling, bein^thnt which he himself com- 
plies with, likewise offers no opposition. If heaven or natur.3 does 
not oppose, how much less can men ? on the contrary the distant 
will look towards him with hope, and the near be free from dissatis- 
faction. How much less also can the JCwei Shins oppose ? The 
imperial will (pr the will of the grpfiit Fjaaii) being previously fixed, 
the Kwei Shins have nothing to do bijt to comply ; what further 


doubt can thera be, that advantages result from the appearanc-j of 
the great man. 

An extract from the writings of Choo-footsze on this subject says. 
This paragraph is designed to explain the virtues of the great man. 
The preceptor, in this passage, means, that the virtue of the sage is 
substantially built on the rule of right, and is utterly divested of 
selfishness : as heaven overspreads all things without any private 
partialities, and earth sustains all things withoat respect of persons, 
so also the sun and moon display no private enlightenings, nor are 
the four seasons arrana^ed with any private views, while the happiness 
and misery induced by the Kwei Shins is entirely separated from all 
selfish considerations. Now all this is in conformity with the rule 
of right. The great man being divested of selfishness, possesses in 
himself this rule of right, and wherever he confronts his conduct, whe- 
ther he compares it with heaven and earth, or the sun and moon, or 
the four seasons, or the Kwei Sh5ns, there is an invariable unison and 

agreement. When speakingr of "^C heaven in the y)hrase *' heaven 
and earth," the writer refers to its form and substance ; but when 
speaking of heaven oi nature, in the phrase '* preceding heaven, and 
following heaven or nature," the writer refers to the rule of riyht. 
The phrases preceding or following heaven or nature, merely refer 
to one thing ; as Yaou's yielding and Shiin's receivii\g the empire 
(only respected one affair ;) or as T'hang's setting aside and Woo's 
suppressing the tyrants (only referred to one business.) In esta- 
blishing ceremonies and composing music, as well as in forming 
nets and snares, boats and carriages, and whatever was first invented 
and made, although they were things that had not previously been 
seen in the world, yet they were constructed according to principles 
originally existing in nature ; but because the sages instituted things 
that had not been before in existence, they were said to have preced- 
ed nature ; and because the sages took their ideas from principles 
that were originally in existence, they were said to have followed na- 
ture. So that after all, the forms and appearance of things, together 
with the sagss, in all their length and breadth, were in perfect unison 
with the rule of right. The four sentences above quoted, which refer 
to the sages' uniting in virtue with heaven and earth, all imply that 
the rule of right is not to be separated between this and that ; while 
the phrases, preceding nature and following nature, imply that the 
rule of riiiht is not to be distinguished into prior and later. Some 
have doubtinsrly asked, whether the preceding and the following of 
nature should be taken in this loose point of view, merely considering 
that the preceding of nature refers to non- contradiction, and the fol- 
io wing of nature to nature's not revolting against the arrangement^ 
&c. to which we may reply, that these are expressions implying the 
perfect unison of the sage's principle with the form and manner of 

We have been thus fall in giving the commentary 
and paraphrase on the above extract, in order to pre- 
sent our readers with a pretty correct idea pf what the 


Chinese think of their sages, and what of the Kwei 
Shins. By the Kwei Shins, in the first part of the 
extracts, who brin^ down happy or calamitous visitations 
on men, are meant those contracters and expanders of 
nature, who acting in accordance with the rule of 
right, steadily prevail over every opposition, and thus 
bring down blessings on the good and curses on the 
bad. That, however, not in pursuance of their own 
dictates, but in obedience to ihe will of Heaven ; and 
not by awarding final and irreversible happiness or mi- 
sery on mankind, but by so arranging the winds and 
rains, with other meteotological phenomena, as to pro- 
duce advantage or disadvantage to their votaries. In the 
latter part of the sentence, the Kwei Shins, as well as 
human beings, are represented as not being able to act 
in opposition to the sages : for since these latter com- 
ply with the rule of right, act in accordance with the 
dictates of nature, and therefore meet with no opposi- 
tion Irom Heaven, how can the former think of present- 
ing any obstruction to the accomplishment of their 
wishes ^ In fine, the paraphrast cuts the matter very 
short by spying. The imperial will, or the dicta of the 
sages, having been previously determined on, the Kwei 
Shins have nothing to do,, but to comply. 

Under thtj =^ K'heen diagram, 44th page, we read, 
" The way of heaven is to diminish the full, and to 
add to the humble ; the w^ay of earth in to overturn the 
full, and to replenish the humble ; the Kwei Shins 
bring calamities on the full, and happiness on the hum- 
ble ; the way of man is to hate the full, and to love the 
humble ; when the humble are in hi;^h stations, then 
they display brightness, when they aie in low stations, 
they cannot be passed over ; this, is the final result of 
the good man's conduct." 

The commentator says, that to overturn, means to overthrow and 
destroy ; to replenish, means to collect things and make them revert 
to a place. When a man can exercise humility, then while dwelling 
in an honourable station, his virtue will be the more splendidly dis- 
played, and while occupying a meaner post, other men will be una. 
ble to pass over him. This is the way in which the good man attain* 
the result of his conduct. . - ,.,,,,.; 

Tkfr p^raphi-aie says, The good raati in reafchfng hin irml restitf, 
GoSist'intly refers to heaven and earth, with the Kwel Shins, in order 
to compare them with human feelings, and discover their conformity. 
We observe that the way of heaven is, by the coming and going of 
the sun and mopn, the Contracting and expanding of cold and heat^ 
to diminish the full and to add to the humble. We also observe^ 
that the way of earth is, by the disrupture of mounds and hillocks, 
and their consequent subverting and sinking, also by the confluence 
6f streams into vallies, and their subsequent increase and filling up, to 
bVferturn the full and replenish the humble. We furtlier perceive, 
with regard to the Kwei Shins, that the proud and full are visited 
with calamity, and the humble and retiring receive happiness. We 
again see that, according to the way of man, the full and overflowing 
)itt with one consent abhorred, while the respectful and humble are 
unitedly loved. If men could but exercise humility, wherever they 
went, they would prosper ; should they occupy high stations, their 
virtues would be looked up to by the lower people, and thus tiiey 
would be splendidly displayed ; but if they could occupy these sta- 
tions in ah humble spirit, they would still more be looked up to by 
cfthers, and would not this be yet more glorious ? Should they occu- 
py meaner stations, where men might easily despise them, they might 
thus be passed over ; but if they could occupy these stations in an 
humble spirit, then men would not conceive the idea of despising 
ttem, in which way then could they be passed over ? Now humility 
in its coramencement, does not depend upon the station which a man 
fills ; should he dwell in an honourable post, he is still glorious, but 
when he occupies a meaner station, he cannot be passed over ; while 
in its termination, humility does not deprive him of any influence de- 
jrived from his station ; thus it is, that the good tnan attains the result 
of his conduct. 

The Kwei Shins mentioned in the above extract, are 
those same contracters and expanders of nature^ who, 
by certain dispositions of meteorological arrangements, 
cause men to experience happiness or miseiy, and, in 
conformity with the usual proceedings of the powers of 
nature, bring calamity on the full, while they confer 
happiness on the humble. 

Under the ^ Fung Diagram, and on the 51st page, 
we read, 

" When the snn arrives at the meridian, there is im- 
mediately an inclination (to decline) ; when the moon 
arrives at the full, it instantly goes on to the wane ; 
thus heaven and earth become full and empty, seasons 
also diminish and grow, how much more is this the 
case with regard to men, and the Kwei Shins "I" 

The commentator says, that this sentence is intended to illustrate 
the phrase connected with the diagram, and that the idea it conveys 


is, be»<'are of exceeding the due medium. 

Tire paraphrase says, The former sentence stated, that we should 
hit the centre like the sun coming to the meridian, meaning that we 
should constantly maintain the due medium, and not pass over to ex- 
cessive fulness ; while, observing that fulness is immediately succeed- 
ed by decay, we see still more the duty of keeping at the medium, 
and avoiding running into excess. Now, when the sun comes to the 
meridian, it enjoj s its fulness ; but when it arrives at that point, it 
invariably begins to decline. The moon also at the full, is in the 
height of her glory, but then she invariably begins to wane. Al- 
though these luminaries are great, yet when heaven and earth display, 
expand, illumine, and brighten their fulness, this is the time when 
they tfrow ; so also when nature receives, collects, reverts, and stores 
up their emptiness, this is the time when they must diminish. 
Times of fulness and diminution, even heaven and earth cannot es- 
cape ; how much more when human affairs arc moulded and bound 
round in the midst of heaver and earth, and when the Kwel Shins 
move and revolve within nature's bounds, can they disobey this law, 
and expect to be always full ? This is the reason why kings should 
be tremblingly alive to the duty of preserving the due medium, and 
not pass over into excessive fulness. 

Choo-foo-tsze, in his general work says, There are 
many expressions connected with the Fung diagram, 
but they are all to he referred to the idea of the sun 
beginning to decline after having reached the meridian. 
This extreme of fulness, we oui^ht very carefully to 
maintain, as in the meridian of the day, and then it 
would be well. He also observed, From this point to 
pass over to danger and ruin, is only a step, therefore 
we should be humble and self-reproviag, in order to 
preserve what we have obtained. We have been told, 
that the Kwei Shins are the changes and transforma- 
tions of heaven and earth ; in the movements and ope- 
rations of nature, the Kwei Shins embody every thing 
without exception. The sun and the moon, declining 
and waning, after having arrived at the meridian and 
the full, as well as nature's advancing and decaying, 
leplenishing and exhausting, are all effects produced 
by the Kwei Shins. Having referred to this, it is ne- 
•<;essary that we more distinctly explain it, by observ- 
ing, that the four seasons, heat and cold, rain and dew, 
wind and thunder, together with the flowing of rivers, 
the rising of hills, the flourishing of plants, and the de- 
^ay of vegetables, are all substantially brought about by 
the Kwei Shins. 


From the above we perceive, that the Kwei Shins 
above spoken of are the usual expanders and contrac- 
ters of nature ; moving and revolving within the com- 
pass of heaven and earth, and producing various chang- 
es and transformations, movements and operations ; 
such as, the rising and setting of the sun, the waxing 
and waning of the moon, meteorological phenomena, 
and vegetable energies, which are all ascribed to the 
Kwei Shins ; and yet they are not able to divest them- 
selves ol the iiahility to change, nor to claim exemption 
from the operation of that law which binds all nature 
under its influence. They are, therefore, a part of 
that nature, which, by their expandings and contract- 
ings, they put in motion, and can be no more than a 
sort of anima mundi, numerously diversified and dis- 
persed tliroughout heaven and earth, under the direc- 
tion and control of some higher power. 

In the section of the Book of Diagrams, called ^ 
^ connected expressions, on the 5th page, we read as 
follows : 

" Looking up he makes use of (the scheme of the dia- 
grams) to observe the phenomena of heaven ; looking 
down, he makes use of the same, to inspect the eontour 
of the earth ; therefore (the sage) knows the causes 
that operate in the visible and invisible world. He 
traces out things to their origin, and reverts to their 
conclusion, thus he knows the theory of lite and death ; 
he sees that the conjunction of the 7^ vital fluids, and 
^ animal breath constitutes living things, but that the 
wandering of the §^ finer part of the animal soul 
brings about a change : thuL he knows the circum- 
stances and conditions of the Kwei Shins." 

The commentator says, This paragraph exhausts the theory of 
right principles. To make use of, means that the sage makes use 
of the scheme of the diagrams for the above purposes. The scheme of 
the diagrams is nothing more than a detail of the male and female 
principles of nature. The visible and invisible worlds, life and death, 
together with the Kwei Shins, are all produced by the changes of the 
male and female principle? of nature, and are all in accordance with 
the rule of right inherent in heaven and earth. The phenomena of 
the heaven, refer to night and day, with the rising and setting (of the 


heavenly bodies ;) the contour of the earth, refers to the eleration 
or depression of north and south. To trace out, means to go back 
to that which has gone before ; to revert, means to examine things in 
their subsequent results. The female principle of nature is synoni- 
mous with the vital fluids, and the male principle with the animal 
breath, when these combine aad form livini^ things, this is the 
expansion of the Shin ; but when the finer part of the animal soul 
begins to ramMe, and the grosser part to descend, then these disperse 
and a change takes place, which is the reverting of the Kwei. 

The paraphrase says, That the scheme of the diagrams supplies what 

eeems deficient in the 3^ principles of heaven and earth, and when 
these principles are dispersed and variously diffused over heaven, 

earth, and the myriad of things, this is what is caUed J^ the principle 
of order. The sage makes use of the scheme of the diagrams, in order 
to exhaust this principle of order. Looking up, he observes tfje phe- 
nomena of the heavens, and looking down, he examines the contour of 
the earth, and thus knows that day, with the rising of heavenly bo- 
dies, the southern quarter, with that which is more elevated in nature, 
belong to the risible world, and constitute the changes of the male 
principle of nature : while night, with what is low, tlie north quarter, 
with what is deep, belong to the invisible world, and constitute the 
transformations of the female principle of nature ; while he takes the 
scheme of the diagrams in order to know the way in which the visible 
and invisible worlds subsist as they do. He traces out the origin of 
things up to the place where the first commencement began, and he 
looks round to the end, as far as the point where all things terminate 
and die ; thus at the commencement, he finds that the congelation 

of the ^^ ft transforming breath of nature, is the 5§5 change from 
nothing into being of the male principle ; and afterwards, that the 

exhaustion of the transforming breath of nature is the (\^ change 
existence to non-existence of the female principle of nature ; thus 
the theory of life and death is ascertained by means of the scheme of 

the diagrams. Then again he observes, that the 1^ ^^ secret ani- 

jnal fluids belonging to living things are connected with the ^^ ^j^ 
open vital breath of the same, thus uniting and consolidating ihey 
constitute the outward forms of things, this then is the converting 

into being of the male principle of nature ; afterwards, when the ^^ 

finer part of ^\ human spirit quits the »j^ coarser part of the J^ 
animal fluids, suddenly it rambles forth, and this constitutes the la.>t 
change of living things, this then is the converting into nonentity 
of the female principle of nature ; in this way the circumstances and 
condition of the Kwei Shins are known by the scheme of the diagrams ; 
and BO this work is the scheme that comes up to the level of the sages 
and exhausts the principles of nature. 

The Kwei Shins spoken of in the above extract are 
jBvidently the expanding and contracting principles of 
human life. When the animal fluids, (including the 


blood and semen,) which are said to be synonimous 
with the female principle of nature unite with the liv- 
ing breath, which is said to be synonimous with the 
male principle of nature, this constitutes a human be* 
ing, and this is the expansion of the Shin ; but when the 
finer part of the animal constitution quits the coarser, 
and begins to ramble, while the coarser part descends 
to earth, this brings about the change, which we call 
death, and this is the reverting of the Kwei. Thus 
♦hen the Kwei Shin are brought about by the disso- 
lution cfthe human frame, and consist of the expand- 
ing and ascending Shin, which rambles about in space, 
and of the contracted and shrivelled Kwei, w^hiqU re- 
V(erts tu earth and nonentity. 

The writer in the book of diagrams on the next page 

"(Th^ sage) moulds and encircles the transformatioiis 
of heaven and earth, and thus there is no error ; h^ 
bends and completes the myriads of things, and thus 
there is nothing neglected ; he understands the princi- 
plrcs of day and night, and knows them thoroughly; 
therefore his ^^ mysteriousness is without any fixed 
place (i. e. extends to unlimited space), and his ^ 
transformations are without any settled form, (that is 
pervade every form and substance.'*) 

Ttie commentator says, that this paragraph sets forth the business 
of the sag-e, in carrying to the utmost the decrees (of Heaven.) To 
mould, is lilie having a mould (for the founding of metals) ; to encir- 
cle is to enclose in a square, as a city is surrounded by its environs. 
The transformations of heaven and earth are endless, and the sage 
forms a nnould and circle for nature, that it may not supass the due 
piedium ; this is what is called cutting out and completing. To un- 
derstand i« the same as to combine in one's ideas. Night and day re* 
fer also to the visible and invisible worlds, life and death, to^ethei' 
with the Kwei Shins. When (the sage) is able to do this, then may 
be seen the wonderfulness of his extreme roysieriousness, which has 
no definite place for its limits, and the changes of his translorm|t\g 
power, which has no settled form within which to confine it. 

The ptiraphrase says, Wnen the rule of ri^ht pervades all produc. 
tions and transformations, this is called the decree of Heaven. The 

sage employs -^ the system of changes to carry out to the utpaost 
the celestial decree. The transformations of heaven and ^arth were 
originally confused and chaptjc, without apy distinction, sp that erro?^ 


■<ra9 unavoidable. But the sage by means of §^ the system of 
changes nioulded and encircled the whole, regulating the calculations 
and rendering evident the seasons, in order to limit and adjust the pe- 
riods (for husbandry ) The philosopher also brought countries into 
order, and wastes under cultivation, in order to divide and portion 
off the land : thus he moulded and encircled every thing, so as to 
.avoid error. So also when the myriad of things were produced, they 
were scattered about without any proper arrangement, and in various 
instances were unable to perfect themselves ; but the sage employed 

^^the system of comoflutations to bendand complete them, cherishing 
and nourishing, or stopping and limiting them, in order to suit the 
growth of men and things ; he also aided and assisted, or promoted 
and advanced th,em, in order to revive the original nature of men and 
animals; thus he bent and completed them, without neglecting a 
single individual. Further, the course of day and night, alternately 
revolved without exactitude, so that it was difficult thoroughly to 

comprehend it ; but the sage, by means of >^ the doctrine of permu- 
tations, attained to a thorongh perception of the pr nciple ; thus me- 
ditating on and combining the causes that produced its contractings 
and expandings, he fully understood the springs of its coming and 
goinpf \ and th^ principle of day and night, including whatever is 
apparent in heaven, earth, and the myriads of things, became invari- 
ably known. All these three constitute the decrees of Heaven, the 
substance of them being minute and mysterious, not to be comprehen- 
ded, and the use of them being furthermore changeful and varied 
without end, they were originally unbounded by any place or form. 
The sage, however, moulded ai^d encircled, bent and completed, and 
thoroughly comprehended the principle ; thus while it luxuriated in 
tjie recesses of the sage's mind, it seemed to have no settled place, and 
yet there was no place in which it was not settled, so that its position 
was not to be comprehended ; is not this an instance of unbroken 
continuance, like the extremely mysterious character of the celestial 
decrees ? So also while it passed through the permutations of the 
sage's mind, it seemed to have no certain action, and yet there was 
no substance on which it was inactive, so that its form and substance 
were not to be scrutinized ; is not this an instance of unceasing opera- 
tion, like the infinite changes of the celestial decree ? Thus the ^j 
scheme of the diagrams, being the book in which the sage carries to the 
utmost the decrees of heaven, displays more and more the greatness 
of this scheme of permutations ? 

In the above extract we see that the word Shin must 
be taken adjectively, and is to he rendered mysteri- 
ous and inscrutable. The whole refers to the sage, 
aadnot to invisible beings ; and speaks of the wonder- 
ful action of the pefect man, aiding heaven and earth 
in their transformations, and the myriad of things in 
their completions. The idea (which is perfectly Chi- 



nese) is, that heaven and earth in their chaotic wildness 
were likely to produce confusion, had not the sage 
stepped in, and by his mouldings and circumscribings, 
calculatings and economizings, regulatings and civili- 
zings, brought the world into some kind of order, and 
thus assisted nature in its operations. So also with re- 
gard to the various animal and vegetable productions, 
which were scattered about without any order, and 
were never likely to come to any perfection, it required 
the sage's interference to train and nurture, encourage 
and foster, cultivate and arrange, suiting different pro- 
ducts to Iheir proper soil, and various engenderings to 
their fit seasons, or else the world would soon have been 
an overgrown wilderness, filled with a disproportionate 
collection of monstrous beings ; but the sage by his 
instructions and regulations sets all to rights, and the 
world wags on without disturbance. Thus likewise 
with regard to the varying length of the days and 
nights, and the endless diversities of the seasons, there 
would have been no possibility of adjusting human la- 
bour to the proper periods, so as to have rendered them 
most productive, had not the sage again come to the 
assistance of nature, and pointed out what was to be 
done, in order to I enefit by the constant changes of 
the atmosphere. Now in effecting all this, the wis- 
dom of the sage was so universally present, that it ap- 
peared mysterious beyond conception ; and his interfe- 
rence was felt on so many subjects, that his calcula- 
tions seemed incapable of being grasped by common 
minds ; hence the use of the phrase at the latter end 
of the paragraph above quoted. 

After this follows a chapter, the whole of which we 
insert here, on account of its important bearings on the 
subject in dispute. 

" One male principle or one female principle of na- 
ture, may be called ^ the right course of things." 

The commentator says, that the male and female principles of 

nature, alternately changing, constitute the ^ breath or energy ot 

nature ; the 5E rule according to which these rerolve may be de- 

iion)i.nated the ^ right course of things. 


The paraphraie says, That this section speaks of the right couYse 
of things bein^ nothing more than the male and female principle of 
nature, while it particularizes its real condition , in order to admire 

its mystericusness. If one should ask, how shall we denonHnate Jg 
the right course of things ? we would say, that between heaven and 

earth, there is nothing more than these two ^^ energies of the male 

and female principle of nature. When the /C W^ Gr®^^ Extreme 
moved, it produced the male principle ; when it had moved to the ut- 
termost, it rested, and in resting produced the female principle. Af- 
ter it had rested to the utmost extent, it again moved, and thus went 
on in alternate motion and rest without cessation. All this is pro- 
duced by the motion and rest of the Great Extreme, and this consti- 
tutes the right course of things. 

The writer goes oa to say, " The connectioa of these 
two constitutes goodness, and the perfection of them 
constitutes the virtuous nature (decreed by Heaven.)" 

Here the commentator remarks, The right course of things is already 
prepared in the female principle of nature, and is acted out in the 
male principle. The word connection, refers to the display of th© 
right course of things ; and the term goodness respects the work of 
transforming and nourishing, which is the business of the male prin- 
ciple of nature. The word perfection, refers to its being already pre- 
pared ; and the vutuous nature respects that wliich men and things re- 
ceive from Heaven. It means, that when things are produced they 
possess a perfect nature, and each one having this fully prepared in it- 
self, this constitutes the right course of things, which is the business of 
the female principle of nature. 

The paraphrase says. Speaking of things from the tira'? of their 
production and transformation, their flowing and pervading, or the ir 
being given and bestowed, we should say, that after matter had rested 
to the utmost extent, it then began to move, floating and pervading, 
displaying and nourishing ; this is what is meant by connecting (or 
carrying on the operations of the male and female principle of nature,) 
and :s the work of transforming and nourishing; at such time, the 
energies of nature were first beginning to move, and the principle of 
order had not yet baen brought to play upo i things, although the 
principle itself existed in the celestial arrangements ; this then con- 
stituted the goodness spoken of in the text. After matter had moved 
to the utmost extent, then it began to rest, congealing and collecting, 
and consolidating into form, this is what is meant by completing, (or 
perfecting the operations of the male and female principle of nature,) 
and is that which men and things have received ; at that time, the ener- 
gies of nature being already consolidated, and the principle of order 
being thereupon fully prepared, each one obtains this principle and 
springs up into life, this then constitutes the virtuous nature spoken of 
in the text. The connecting of these and the attainment of goodness, 
is the work of the male principle ; the completing of them and the 
constituting of virtuous nature, is the work of the female principle ; 
thus one male and one female principle alternate with each other with- 


out mtermiffsion, and the right course of things is inherent therefn. 
The writer in the text, further remarks : - 

" 1 he benevolent man seeing this, calls it benevo- 
IcLce ; the wise man observing it, denominates it wis- 
dom : the common people, in their daily practices, are 
ignorant of both ; therefore the principles of the good 
man are seldom discerned." ' ■ ^ 

;The commentator says, that benevolence belongs to the male princi- 
ple, and wisdom to the female principle of nature ; each one obtains 
but one corner of the right course of things, thus according to their 
various predilections, they account that which they possess to be the 
whole substance of virtue. Those who are employed in tfeeir daily 
avocations, do not know either of these, and therefore, it is invariably 
the case that few of those who eat and drink, can discern the proper 
taste : these again are a stage lower than the former. But after all, 
there are none of them without the right course of things. 

The paraphrase says. Speaking of the partial character of men's na- 
tural endowments, we should say, that the one obtaining the excite- 
ment of the male principle of nature, is more inclined to benevolence, 
and thus adhering to his views of benevolence, imagines that the 
. whole essence of virtue consists in benevolence ; not knowing that 
-there is such a thing as wisdom requiring his attention. Another re- 
ceiving the sedateness of the female principle of nature, is more versed 
■in wis dom, and thus seizing fast hold of the idea of wisdom, fancies 
that the whole substance of goodness is to be found therein, without 
adverting to the requh'ements of benevolence. While those who re- 
ceive a mixture of the male and female principle, and constitute the 
mass of the peeple, although they are daily busied about wisdom and 
benevolence, yet do not comprehend nor enquire into either ; and 
thus it is, that the united principles of wisdom and benevolence, which 
the good man possesses, are seldom perceived. The activity of bene- 
volence constitutes the male principle, and the sedateness of wisdom 
constitutes the female principle, while in the daily practices of common 
people, both principles are present ; and in this the right coarse of 
things consists. 

Further on the writer remarks : 

" (Nature) displays its benevolence, and stores up its 
benefits, thus encouraging the production of all things, 
without dispalying anxiety like the sages ; how ex- 
treme are its perfect virtues and its ample stores !" 

The commentator says. To display, means to come forth from with- 
in ; benevolence, refers to the work of production and transformation, 
and is the display of virtue. To store up, means to bring in from 
without ; benefits refer to the mysteriousness of nature's springs and 
bonds, and constitute the source of wealth. Ching-tsze says, Heaven 
and earth, without the exertion of thought, bring about their trans- 
formations ; the sages employ much thought, but do not interfere 
• with- the operations of nature. 


The paraphrase says, Speaking of the outgoings and incomings of 
the transformations and secret springs of nature, we should say, that 
nature, in causing things to spring and grow, certainly practices 
bcHevolence ; for just then, at the commencement of things, the 
goodness of its productive energies comes forth from within, and is 
manifested in a benevolent manner. So also heaven and earth, in 
causing things to grow and flourish, is the source of advantage ; for 
when the fruits of the earth attain their completion, the be- 
neficial things which nature has produced are brought in from 
abroad, and stored up for future use. Thus nature displays its bene- 
volence, in order to promote the budding of the myriad of things, and. 
then stores up its benefits, in order to encourage the bringing in of 
natural productions ; but whether in its issuings forth or in its re- 
ttH^lngs, it acts spontaneously, and does not in the least resemble th e 
anxieties of the sages, who employ their thoughts and exhaust their 
minds in the constitution of the empire. Now the display of benevo- 
lence is the manifestation of virtue, and is exhibited towards the 
myriads of things, thus its virtue is perfect ; so also the storing up of 
benefits is the source of wealth, and since every thing is thus trea- 
sured up, its stores must be ample. Besides every one of these acts, 
coming from unpremeditated goodness, constitutes the extreme of be- 
nevolence, without the possibility of its being traced ; and wonderful 
utility, without our being able to point out its commencement ; is it 
not then surpassingly excellent ? 

The writer goes on to say, 

" The riches possessed by nature may be called am- 
ple stores ; its perpetual renovations may be called its 
perfect virtue." 

The commentator Chang-tsze says. In its rich possessions nature 
is vast and unlimited ; in its daily renovations, it is protracted and 

The paraphrase says, Nature's stores are completed without, but 
how shall we denominate the depositing of its benefits within ? 
-Thus, although its stores are externally exhibited, yet they are pro- 
duced from within, and are perpetually deposited there for use ; when 
nature conceives the idea of producing things, these are all nourished 
and fostered within, and from this germ are displayed and disclosed, 
in an unlimited and boundless degree ; this is the reason why na- 
ture's stores are so ample ; (and this is the way to speak of the depo- 
siting of benefits within.) Again, nature's virtues accumulate within, 
but how shall we describe the display of its benevolence without ? 
In this way, although its virtues are internally conceived, yet they 
superabound without, and are constantly exhibited in the displays of 
benevolence ; when nature puts in motion the springs that produce 
the varieties of things, these are all displayed and disclosed without, 
and from this they are impelled onwards, and transformed, until 
their productions and growings become inexhaustible ; thus it is that 
nature's virtues are thus perfect, (and this is the way to describe the 
displays of its benevolence.) The perfect virtue of displaying benevo- 
lence belongs to the male principle of nature : and the ample stores 
deposited for use belong to the female principle. After having been 


displayed, they are again deposited, and after being for some time de- 
posited, they are again displayed ; thus there is one male and one fe- 
male principle of nature alternately revolving without iutermissiony 
and the right order of things is found to consist in this. 

Our author goes on to say, 

" The producings and reprodacings of nature may be 
5enorainated ^ change." 

The commentator says, The female principle of nature produces 
the male, and the male the female ; their changes are endless, and in 
this the fitness of things, and the scheme of the diagrams are both alike. 

The paraphrase says. If we view this subject in the light of the 
mutual changes of the male and femile principles of nature, we shall 
find that, thera was one female principle, and again one male, thu* 
the female produced the male. So also there was one male principle 
of nature, and again one female, thus the male produced the female. 
The connecting of these two, as constituting goodness, resulting in 
the perfecting of them, as constituting virtuous nature, as well as the 
display of benevolence followed by the storing up of benefits, all shew 
that the male principle produced the female. The perfecting of thenv 
to form virtuous nature, being again followed by the connecting of 
them to constitute goodness, as well as the storing up of benefits, be- 
ing again succeeded by the display of benevolence (in the new spring, 
ing forth of things), she vs that the female principle may again pro- 
duce the male. Thus then one male and one female principle alter- 
nately revolving without cessation, shews that the right order of 
things is inherent in the whole. 

In the next paragraph we read, 

" That which produces the shapeless mass of things, 

may be called ^ the superior principle, and that 

which ^ presents to view )^ the exact form of things, 

may be called i^ the inferior principle of nature." 

The commentator says, That the word 5^ heaou, means to pre- 
sent or bring to notice, and that the word ^^ fa, refers to the ex- 
act and visible part of production and transformation. 

The paraphrase runs thus : If we would speak of the order of 

things in their springing into being, we should say, that when the ^ 
breath of nature first congeals, it just then produces something like an 
unshapen foetus, which constitutes the shapeless mass or the incipient 
origin of things ; this being light and pure, but not yet possessing 
any determinate form, belongs to the male, and may be called the 
superior principle of nature ; but when the determinate shape haa 
been assumed, it manifestly presents itself to view, and constitutes 
the exact form of things, possessing body, colour, shape and manner, 
this being heavy and gross, and cognizai)le to human senses, belongs 
to the female, and may be called the inferior principle of nature ; 
thus one male and one female principle alternately changing without 
intermission, the right course of things is therein to be found. 


The author goes on to say, 

'* When we carry out numbers to the uttermost, in 

Order to ascertain coming events, this may be called 

prognostication ; but when we thoroughly understand 

the changes likely to take place, this may be called 

L settled business. 

I The commentator says, that prognostications here refer tothedivin- 
ing by straws. Matters before they are fixed belong to the male princi- 
ple of nature. Matters here mean things to be done. After prognos- 
tications have been determined, the settled business belongs to the 
female principle of nature. To exhaust numbers and penetrate in- 
to futurity, is the way to ascertain the changes ot events. 

The paraphrase says, we may see the same principle in the use of 
the science of numbers to prognosticate. When we are just coming 
into contact with any matter, we enquire by means of the divining 
straws, and the aid of numbers, examining to the utmost the calcu- 
lations of seven, eight, nine, and six, seeking to ascertain the lucky 
or unlucky character of coming events ; this prognosticating of mat- 
ters beforehand may be called divining. But after the prognostica- 
tions have been fixed, and there is a certain method for hastening or 
avoiding expected results, we then abide by the same, and the 
changes incident to affairs are by this means ascertained ; this acting 
out our plans, after the divinations have been practised, is called 
settled business. Prognostications therefore being employed when 
"matters are not yet fixed, constitutes the male principle ; and the 
transaction of business coming on when the divinations have been 
completed, constitutes the female principle of nature. Thus the male 
and female principles alternating with each other, the right course of 
things is found therein. This passage goes on from the production 
•and transformation of things, aud speaks of the system of calculations 
and changes. 

In the last sentence of this chapter, we read, 
" The inscrutable character of the male and female 
principle of nature may be denominated jj[^ the mys- 

The conmentator, Chang- tsze, says, There are two principles pre- 
sent, hence the mysteriousness of it. 

The paraphrase is as follows ; Viewing the whole in connection, 
we see that the two originating causes, the male and female principles 
of nature, mutually and alternately push and agitate one another, 
without cessation ; and since in the right course of things there are 
two principles existing, it is imposible to ascertain in which it is fix- 
ed. Now when a thing is fixed, it may be ascertained, and that which 

may be ascertained is not fit to be called )f|'p inscrutable : further 
with regard to the mysteriousness of this right course of things, if we 
should say, that it is confined to the male principle, we perceive that 
that which constitutes the female principle is really the substance of 
this light course of thingi, and the right course of things has 


never yet been absent from the female principle of nature. 
So aljso should we suppose that it is confined to the female principle, 
we must acknowledge, that that which constitutes the male principle 
is in reality the acting out of this right course of thing-s, thus the 
right course of things has never yet been exempt from the male prin- 
ciple of nature ; how J[|^ inscrutable is it ? Is it not like the original 
mysteriousness of the Great Extreme ? When men can thoroughly 

comprehend ^ the science of numbers, they can then exhaust i[l^ 
the mysteriousness here spoken of. The right course of things 
consistiag of one male and one female principle of nature, is 
assuredly nothing else than the male and female principle, and yet it 
does not depend upon the male and female principle of nature. 

The Chinese account of the above chapter, which we 
have been thus'miiiiite in detailing, is that " every para- 
graph refers to the ri^ht course ofthings as constituting 
the one male and one female principle of nature, and 
every paragraph speaks of !^ ^R'] 7^ jfj^ ^^^ inscru- 
table mysteriousness of the male and female principle 
of nature. The commentators, in explaining how it i^ 
thus, refer to the right course of things ; not attempting 
to point to the way in which the right course of things 
exists, but to the w^y in which the right course of 
things constitutes the male and female principle of na- 
ture. The male and female principle here refer to mo- 
tion and rest ; the right cour.-.e of things combines the 
idea of motion and rest. Speaking of the essence of 
the right course of things, it is called the Great Ex- 
treme. Speaking of the acting and moving of the 
Great Extreme, it is called the right course of things. 
Speaking of the mysteriousness of the right course 
of things, it is called ^^ the inscrutable. The 
main object of this chapter, is to make men employ the 
scheme of the diagrams in order to understand the right ; 
:^course of things " ■ ^'. m 

In the whole of the above chapter, the Chinese sys- 
tem of cosmogony is set forth, regarding which we may 
say that, however curious, and in some parts inexplica- 
ble, this much is certain, that the Shins have nothing 
to do with it ; for the word Shin is here only employed 
as an adjective, meaning inscrutable and mysterious, 
and has nothing whatever to do with invisible beings 
-or their operations. To derive the name or the attri- 


but^s of the Deity from a chapter like tbo abore, k a pure 
figment of the imagination ; and to explain the word 
Shin, in the above connection, of anything leiatiug to 
God, is entirely beside the mark. 

In a subsequent chapter, the author observes : 
" or heaven may be predicated one, of earth two, 
of heaven three, ot earth four, of heaven five, of earth 
six, of heaven seven, of earth eight, of heaven nine, of 
earth ten." 

The commentator says, that this treats of the j. umbers belonging 
to heaven and earth ; the male principle rlaimin^ the odd, and the 
female principle the evei» numbers ; all of which may be found on the 

Jflj [gj river map. In that delineation, one and six were placed at 
the bcttom, two and seven at the top, three and eight on the leit, four 
and nine on the right, while five and ten occuj)ied the centre. Speak- 
ing of the numbers according to their arrangement, then the five in 

the centre constituted the f/J "^^ parent of enumeration, and the ten 
next in order the oiFspring of enumerntion. The one, two. three, and 
four, outside these, were the stations of the four forms ; and the six, 
seven, eight, and nine, outside of all, were the enumerators of the 
four forms. The two venerated ones, (such as the ^reut male and 
female principle of nature,) had their stations on the north-west cor- 
ner of the map, and the two inferior ones (such as the little male and 
female principle of nature,) had their stations on the Routh-east cor- 
ner of the delineation ; with respect to their numbers, each one was ar- 
ranged according to its class, and alternately disposed one outside of 
j^he other. 

The paraphrase says, When men make use of the ^ scheme of the 
diagrams, they simply pull out the straws and seek for the divinations. 
This practice of culling the straws originated in the numbers of the 
gnat sjstem of enumeration; these again originated in the num;- 
bers of the river map, while the numbers of the river map are, the 
same as those which l)elong to heaven and earth. Formerly, in the 
time of Fuh-he, a dragon horse came up out of the river, bearing a 
delineation ; upon its back were circles, formed by the curling of the 
hairs, numbering from one to ten. People observing these, considered 
them merely as tlie numbers of the river map, not adverting to the 
circumstance x)t their being also the numbers of heaven and earth; 
nor to the question of which of these numbers may be ascribed to hea- 
ven, and which to earth ; viewing them as we now find them, we should 
say, tnat heaven, belonging entirely to the male principle of nature, 
claims the odd numi^er* ; thus the one, three, five, seven, and nino, 
of the river map, all being odd ones, are ascribed to the celestial enu- 
meration. So also earth, belonging entirely to the female principle 
of nature, claims the even numbers, thus the, two, four, six, eight, 
and ten of the river map, all being even, rjelonir to the terrestriah^nu- 
mwstion. The substance of heaven andca^ii bging.,pyjt^ ,BBll^l" 


tioh to each other, without change, the niltnoeri from one to t^n^ 
afd distinct in their application and yet unconfoamled ; thu« it in that 
the river map contained the entire enumeration of heaven and earth. 

The author goes on to say, 

" The celestial numbers are five, and the terrestrial 
9I8O five ; their five positions mutually suit each other, 
and are severally united ; thus the celestial numbers 
aniount to twenty-five, and the terrestrial ones to 
thirty, while both the celestial and terrestrial united 
make fifty-five ; these are the means whereby changes 
and transformations are effected, and the Kwei Shind 
are put in motion." 

The commentator says, The five celestial numbers, Viz. one, three, 
five, seven, and nine, are all odd ones ; while the five ten-estrial num-. 
bers, viz. two, four, six, eight, and ten, are all even ones. Their 
being mutually ^nted to each other means, that one is coupled with 
two, three with four, five with six, seven T»ith eight, and nine with 
ten ; thus one even and one odd number are coupled together, and 
mutually suit each other. Their being united means, that one is 
put with six, two with seven, three with eight, four with nine, and 
live witli ten, each pair of numbers being uniteid two and two. 
Twenty-five are the five odd numi)cr3 added together. Thirty is 
formed from the five even numbers added together. The changes 
and transformations, mean that one changing produced water, and 
that six transforming completed it ; that two transforuiing pro- 
duced fire, and that seven changing completed it ; that three chang- 
ing produced wood, and that eight transforming completed it. That 
four transforming produced metal, and that nine changing completed 
it ; that five changing produced earth, and that ten transforming 
Completed it. The Kwei Shins refer to the contractions and expan- 
sions, the approachings and receding^ of the productive and complet- 
ing powers of the even and odd numbers. ' * 

The paraphrase says, That these numbers constitute the whole work 
of producing and transforming things, and that not one of them is un- 
suitable ; one, three, five, seven, and nine are all odd nun)l>ers, and 
belong to heaven ; thus the celestial enumenitions are five ; two, 
four, six, eiijht, and ten, are all even numbers, aiid belong to earth, 
thus the terrestrial enum^Tations are als) five. These five numbers 
on the river map, each obtain a settled position ; thus one is cou- 
pled with two, three with four, five with six, seVen with eiirht, and 
nine with ten ; the odd are put first and the even afterwards, white 
the order is not disturbed, and each one obtains its proper place, ais" 
if divided in regular gradation, like elder and younger brethren who 
are not opposed t» each other. While these numbers suit tach othei^, 
they are natirrally united, as one with six, two with seven, three with 
eight, four with nine, and five with ten ; one odd and one even num- 
ber being coupled together as leader Sitid follo\n-er, and both mutually 
2intt«d, as if they had Borne affection for eapb other, and were thus 


coupled together like man and wife, who ought not to be pat auuiider. 
If we add up the celestial enumerations, we shall find that one and 
nine make ten, three and seven also ten, and putting in the fire w« 
have twenty- tjve- So also if we add the terrestrial enumerations, we 
shall find that two and eight make ten, four and six also ten, and 
putting in the ten, we have thirty. Uniting the celestial and terrestri- 
al enumerations uehave fifty five, and the mutually suited with the 
mutually united numbers are thus exhausted ; that by which changea 
and transformations are completed can surely be none other than this, 
and that by which the Kwei Shins are moved can surely be none 
other than this ; for one, three, and five are used to produce water, 
wood, and earth » while six, ei«ht, and ten complete them ; the changes 
commence with heaven, and the transformations are completed by earth; 
two and four produce fire and metal, while seven and nine complete 
them ; in thi-s the tn\nsforma»lons commence with earth, and the chang- 
e« are finished by heaven. There is nothing that may not be ascribed 
tc tiiese numbers, in order to their completion. Moreover, one, two, 
three, four and five, are the producing enumerations ; these are the ori- 
ginating causes of the changes and transformations, and may be con- 
sidered the advancing and expanding of the Shtns, (or expanding prin- 
ciple of nature.) So also six, seven, eight, nine, and ten, are the 
cora])leting enumerations ; these are the corapletings of the wor|c 
of chancre and transformation, and may be considered as the receding 
and contracting of the Kwei, (or contracting principle of nature). 
But the commencing and producing, belong to the advancing awd ^ic- 
panding prineiple, which, after having produced anything, recedes and 
contracts; after having completed anything, although it has recede^ 
and contracted, yet when it was just completing the work, then its ad- 
rancings and expandings were certairdy set in motion by these num- 
bers. Thus wonderful are the numbers of the river map, and thus 
mysterious its operations ! 

The writer §;oes on to say, 

" l he numbers of the great extension (in the centre 
of the river map,) are five and ten, (or when multiplied 
into each other fifty) ; of these numbers only forty 
nine are made use of in divining, (one being deducted, 
to represent the Great Extreme) ; divide this on^ 
jinto halves, in ordex to represent the two forms (or the 
male and female principle of nature) ; to these tack oa 
one (as is it were by putting a straw between th^ 
fourth and middle finder of the left hand,) to represent 
the three powers, (or heaven, earth, and man) ; then 
take alternately four fingers of the right and left hand, 
to represent the four seasons ; after which bring to* 
gather the remaining fingers (after the manner of di-. 
vining by straws,) to represent the intercalary moons ; 


im;iljc GQ.urse of five years, there are two intercalary 
:-inoons, therefore repeat the operation of bringiug to- 
gether the remaining fingers, dnd change them as 

** The aggregate number of the superior principle 
of nature^ is tAto hundred and sixteen, (found by taking 
the three single iiumbers multiplied into themselves, 
which make nine, and multiplying that by the number of 
the 23 ^ four forms, representing the great and little 
male and female principle of nature, thus obtaining 36, 
and then multiplying this 36 by 6. the number of strokes, 
•whether divided or open, in the scheme of diagrams, thus 
making 2U3 ;) and the aggregate number of the inferior 
principle of nature, is one hundred and forty four, (found 
by taking three d(mble numbers, which makes six, and 
multiplying that 6 by the four forms above mentioned, 
thus making 24, and then multiplying this 24 by 6, the 
number above alluded to, will produce 144) ; the two 
aggregate numbers of the superior and inferior princi- 
ples of nature, added together, make 360, the number 
of days (generally reckoned) for a year. 

"The aggregate number of the two sections of the 
scheme of the diagrams, is eleven thousand five hundred 
ftnd twenty, (found by multiplying 192, the number of 
closed strokes in the book of diagrams, by 36 as above, 
and obtaining 6,912; also by muitiplying the same 
192, the number of open strokes in the book of dia- 
grams, by 24 as above, and obtaining 4608, these add- 
ed together will make 1 1,520,) which may be consider- 
ed as representing the numbers of the myriad of things. 
-' '* Therefore by means of these four operations, the 
doctrine of change is completed ; and by 18 (triple) 
changes the scheme of (64) diagrams is perfected." 

The commentator says, that the four operations allude to the di- 
viding of the unit into two, the tacliing on of one to two, in order to 
make three, the alternately taking four fingers from each hand to con- 
etitute four, and the collecting of the odd fingers to make up deficien- 
cies, as mentioned in a former section. The change here refers to 

one alternation of a close and open stroke. Three such alternations 


constitute the ^ six lines of the diagrams, ^ud eighteen such alter- 
nationi form six times six-lined diagrams. 


• Further on the writer says, 

"The eight diagrams constitute a small completion, 
(after whrch the great cumpletiou of 64 diagrams 

"If you lead out and expand these diagrams, making 
^ach come in contact with its fellow, and thus enlarge 
them, then the mighty operations of the whole world 
may be brought to a conclusion." 

The comment .tor says, this moans that havinsr completed the six- 
lined diagrams, and observed whether the lines ch^nije alternately or 
^ot» i-^; order to know whether they indicate motion or rest, then one 
diagr »m. miy be chan^red and rechan^ed, until it becomes sixty-four 
chat}ges, in order to fix the lucky or unlucky character of events, and 
these sixty-ifour changed sixty-four times, will amount to 4096 chang- 

" (These diagrams) bring to the knowledge of men 
the right course of things (which is otherwise hidden,) 
and iy|l]3 bring into contact with invisible beings human 
actions (which would otherwise be only known to 
men) ; in this way (the diagrams) may be useful in 
the intercourse of men, and be of some service to invl- 
fiible beings, (in conveying their views to maiikind.) j" 

The commentator h iy«, that the right course of things (otherwise 
secret) is manifested by the expressions attached to the diagrams ; ar d 
outward action (otherwise only referring to I uman beings,) is biought 
into contact with the invisible world, by means of the science of num- 
bers ; intercourse her*? refers to answering and rt plying ; and aiding 
invisible beings, means that th« diagrams assist them in their work of 

The paraphuse »ays, the di^ining straws and the diagrams, are cal- 
culated to carry out to a conclusion the mighty operations of the 
whole world ; but how are tb.ey used ? The principles of lucky and 
unlucky omens which are found in the diagrams, constitute the right 
course of things; and when these are placed after the 18 alternate 
changes, and amongst the superfluities of leading and expanding, and 
bringing into contact one with another of the diagrams, then the prin- 
ciples of lucky and unlucky omens are luminously displayed by the ex- 
pressions attached to the diagrams and the six-fold lines, and then 
the right course of things is manifested by the said expressio'is. 
Those things which should be approached or avoided among the peo}>Ie, 
constitute the line of human conduct ; when these are placed after the 
eighteen alternate changes, and among the superfluities of the leading 
out and expanding, and bringing into contact one with another of the 
iiiagrams, then the people are all encouraged to attend to the rule of 
what should be approached or avoided, without weariness ; thus vir- 
tuous conduct is by means of the doctrine of numbers brought into 


contact with invieible beinsrs. The straws and the diagrams being 
thus useful in manifesting tl»e right course of things to men, and in 
bringing the virtuous conduct of men into contact with invisible be- 
ings, it follows, that when men harbour any doubts which they cannot 
decide, then in the visible world, the diagrams are useful in the inter.- 
course of men, and in elucidating m«i'i! doubts ; so also with regard 
to intelligf^nt beings in the invisible world, who have no means where- 
by to make known their views to men, these diagrams are of use in ths 
unaeen world, in assisting invisible beings, and in expressing those 
things which invisible beings cannot utter. Thus the diagiaras unite 
the SBcret and the displayed, and there is no separation between them. 

Hang-she, treating of ttiis passage, says, The right course of thini^s 
adopted by Heaven, although it is secret, can be manifested by thr 
diagrams, in order to make it known to men ; and the affairs of men, 
although they helong mainly to the visible world, can be carried out, 
until they are made to accord with Heaven ; thus in the visible world, 
the diajjraros can correspond to the suitabilities of men and things, 
and in the invisible world, can aid in bringing to light the commands 
of the Kwei Shins 

Another cotum-^ntator says, The right course of things is the same 
as the fitness of things, and mcludes all these »ecrct principles which 
the expressions of the B)ok of diagrams are calculated to make ma-» 
nifest and display. The course of conduct, refers to what is evident 
in human business and affairs. These two are quoted to exhibit the 
secret and the evident in contrast, intimating that the most abstruse 
thin? in nature is the fitness of things, and yet the expressions attach- 
ed to the diagrams are able to display it ; wh'''h may be called the 
brinaring to light of the invisible. So also that which is most mani^ 
fest in nature, is the outward conduct of men, and yet the enuniera^ 

tions of the B;>ok of diagrams are intended to )jl^ >2S ^"•^g ^^ '"'** 
contact with invisible beings, which may be called the carrying dowa 
int/) the unseen world of that which is evident. 

We have been thus particular in detailing^ all the 
sections of the cha{)ter introducing the paragraph 
now under debate, and in giving all that commentators 
and paraphrasts have written on it, in order to be sure 
that the ideas which we form of the expressions used 
in the text are not erroneous. From the whole of 
what has been adduced on this passage, then it will be 
evident, that the first |jl^ Sliin, used in the paragraph 
now under discussion, must be considered in the light 
of a verb, and is in many respects the opposite of the 
verb in the first member of the sentence. That word 
i>i §§ he^n, and means to render evident, or to bring 
into contact with human beings in the visible world; 



of course then Jj^ Shin here must mean to render clarlt^'! 
or to brin^ into contact with invisible l)eings in the 
unseen world ; which will appear sufficiently plain to 
any one who attentively considers the whole passage. 
The secojid j|j^ Shin in the sentence is a substantive, 
and refers to invisible beings in general, who have no 
means of making known their wishes to mankind, but 
through the medium of divination and the diagrams. 
These Shins are also called Kwei Shins by one of 
the commentators on the passage. 

*' Confncins said, He who knows the doctrine of 
changes and transformat.ous, may perhaps know what 
the Shins enact." 

The commentator says, The doctrine of changes and transforma- 
tions refers to the reckonings and arrangements detailed in the pro- 
ceeding pages ; all which are not such as could b<^ broui^ht about by 
human agency, therefore ConfuciuR uttered this exclamation regard- 
ing them ; and the disciples inserted the phrase, Confucius said, in 
order to distinguish this sentence from the preceding ones. 

The paraphrase says, Viewing these things in coiinection, we sec 
that the enumerations of the Great Extension of heaven and earth, 
and the arrangements about se|)arating the straws in seekinij for the 
divinations, all accord with the principles of changes and transf )r- 
mations. Bat though numhers originate with heaven and earth, yet 
heaven and earth have no means whereby to exhibit thair wisdom ; 
and though they are rej^ulated by the sages, yet the sages have no 
means whereby to display their abilities in tins respect; thus the prin- 
ciples of change and transformation are all brought a )out by the i|fl|t 
Sliins. The science of numbers is nothinir more than the alternate 
movements of one energetic mechanism : and the arranijements of the 
^iagrams^ are simply the accumulation and division of one siuifle and 
one double number ; but they all spring from the spontaneous ^ff rts 
of the principle of order and the force of circumstances, and are with- 
out thought and without effort ; they appear as f they cause i things 
to besQ and so, and yet they do not really cause things to be so and 
60 ; and although they mii/ht wish thinifs rot to be thus, they cannot 
help their being thus. To knovy what the Shins enact, is it not that 
whereby the science of numbers and the arrangements of the dia- 
grams are constituted wonderful. From this point, using the straw* 
in Order to seek for divinations, you may know that the arrangemerits 
of the diagrams are spread out in the liver map, and then you may 
know that tJie science of numbers oriifinales with heaven and earth, 
amd of course know that smch numbers and arrangements, both 

come ont from fj^ the SMns, and are not such as human agency 
could accomplish. 

The critical commentatsr here observes, that the word ij|S (S;)in 

here refer* to the sr^itcm of changes and trar.^form»tion«»»" and is to b# 
taken in a different sense from the word Shin, twice repeated in «" 
former sentence, and rendered invisible beings. 

From the above remark, therefore, we should infer, 
that according to the Chinese a number of contracting 
and expanding energies exist in nature, which work out 
the changes and transformations previously originating 
with heaven and earth ; that these are especially active 
in divination, and in pointing out the secret and the fu- 
ture to those who; use the straws and calculate the 
numbers ; thus constituting a sort of Shins, or expan- 
ders, presiding i)vcr prognostics. The science of num- 
bers, and the arran>ements of the diagrams, producing 
certain results strike the (yhinese as sonaewhat wonder- 
fal, appearing as if they caused things to fall out in a 
certain m \ ner, and yet uot in reality causing them ; 
and seeming as if they CDuld not help fie falling out 
of events, in such and such a way, if they would ; so 
that the Chinese have been led to imagine certain 
Shins as presiding over and bringing about these num- 
bers and diagrams, and that they are not brought about 
by hnman agency. 

In the 8th chapter of the Sequel to the BoOk of Dia- 
grams, vire read as follows : i fir.;-) inn w-. 

" The scheme of the diagrams according to 'the' prin- 
ciples of the sages possesses four things ; when people 
employ it to guide them in speaking, they pay particu- 
ja. attentiou to the expressions attached to the din- 
grams ; when they use it to guide them in action, they 
ol)serve the changes of the figures ; when they euiploy 
it for the purj)ose of constructing their implements, 
they regRrd the figures of ihe diagrams ; and when 
they use it f >r divining, they pay particular attention to 
the pr(>gnosticati. ns." 

The commentator says, that these four etnhrace the Rystem of 
chanties and transformations, and are produced by the interventipft,,of 
the Sbius, (or invisible beings, presiding over divinations.) . • , •- 

*' ^ herefore the gond man, when he has anything to 
do for himself, or transact for others, enquires (by 
means of the diagrams) and makes use of them to guide 
him in his words or actions ; on $uch occasions, (the 


oracle) rectives his statement, (and conveys to him an 
answer) like the echo immediately following the sound ; 
and thus, no matter whether things are distant or near, 
dark or deep, he immediately knows (the character oi) 
future events ; now if (the scheme of the diagrams) 
were not the most ^ minute and abstruse thing in all 
the world, how could it be employed for such purposes ! 

" He then (arranges the straws) into threes and fives, 
in order to form (One) change ; after which he shuffles 
them together and disposes of their numbers, by which 
he ascertains the (triple) chauj^e ; then he constructs 
the arrangement of the celestial and terrestrial forms, 
and carries out the numbers to the utmost, whereupon 
he can determine the figures of all things under hea- 
ven ; now if (the scheme of the diagrams) were not the 
most ^ capable of change of any thing in the whole 
world, how could it be employed for such a purpose ^ 

"The scheme of the diagrams is without thought, and 
without action, silent and motionless ; and yet, when 
it is put in operation, it enables the good man (to per- 
ceive all matters under heaven) ; now if it were not the 
most jfl^ inscrutable of all things in the world, how 
could it be equal to this T' 

The commentator says, these four properties of the diagrams, above 
spoken of, are those by which the substance of the diagrams is esta- 
blished, and the use of them carried out into practice. The scheme 
of diagrams, here refers to the divining straws and the calculations ; 
its being without thought and without action, means, that it has no 
mind. Its silence constitutes the essence of its operation, and its 
operation shews the use of its silence ; the mysteriousness of men's 
minds in their motion and rest, is also to be referred to this. 

The paraphrase says, Whence come the extreme minuteness of the 
expressions and prognostications, and the exceeding variableness of 
the forms and changes of the diagrams'? certainly it must be their 

j|\i^ mysteriousness, which establishes their substance and is display- 
ed in their use. It may be that the expressions and prognostications, 
the forms and changes connected with this science, are divided into 
the culling of the straws and the working of the calculations, but 
certain it is that after all they constitute but one scheme of the di- 
agrams. Whatever possesses mini, can exercise thought, but the 
scheme of the diagrams possesses no mind, how then can it think ? 
so also, whatever possesses mind can act. but the scheme in question 
possesses no miurl, how then can it act ? Bv^fore the straws are, cul- 
ed, or the calculaLiows worked ; befura the exprfssioiis or proguos- 


tications are exhibited, or the forms and changes dtsfj-jlayed , this 
scheme of the diagrams is silent and motionless, and this is the way, 
in which its substance is established ; afterwards, when, the straws 
are culled, and the calculations worked, when the statements are 
drawn up, and the forms Fettled, when the lucky may be known, 
and the unlucky determined, when the system is put in operation, 
and affords us soms perception of thngs, this is the way in which the 
use of the scneme is carried out. Thus v/e may see, tn-*t in the midst 
of stillness there is motion, and things do not settle down into absolute 
Btillness ; also in the midst of motion there is stillness, and things are 
not perpetually moving; therefore the science of numbers can be 
without thought, and yet always occasioning thought ; can be with- 
out action, and yet perpetually producing action ; because it comes from 
the spontaneousness of the right course and the fitness of things, and 
carries to the utmost that which is most mysterious under heaven. 
If it were not so, how could the scheme in question be silent and yet 
able to operate, be operating and then understood, be understood 
and that in such an instantaneous manner. 

Another commentator says, that this paragraph is intended to con- 
nect the former two sections, and express admiration of them ; say- 
ing, that the doctrine of changes is not only 3S t3 extremely minute, 
and ^£ ^^ capable of variation, but also the 3c W? most myste- 
rious thing under heaven. Adding, that the word jj^ Shin, here, is 

employed ffy ^ ^ [[f\ Ml 3 to intimate that it is the most 
mysterious thing in nature. 

The writer goes on to say, 

" The scheme of the diagrams is that by which the 
gages exhaust the abstruse, and examine the recondite. 

" It is only because (this scheme) is abstruse, that 
it can aid in discovering the views of all under hea- 
ven ; and only because it is recondite, that it can aid in 
perfecting every undertaking under heaven ; and it is 
only because it is |^ mysterious (in these two respects), 
that without speed it rapidly (discovers men's views) 
and without traveUing, it arrives at (the completion of 

The commentator says. The discovery of men's views, and the ac- 
complishment of business, are brought about by the )]j^ mysterious 
wisdom (contained in the sclieme of the diagrams) 

The paraphrase on this passage says, The sages in exhausting 
the abstruse and examining the recondite, do every thing in a 
spontaneous manner, thus in their discovery of the recondite and 

abstruse, there is something )[|ijl mysterious. Therefore when the 
expressions and prognostications of the diagrams are made clear, 
fehe views of all men under heaven are discovered, aud it is as if they 


did not know by what means they were discovered : so also when 
the forms and changes of the diagrams are exhibited, the business 
of all men throughout the empire is completed, and it is as if they 
did not know by what means it was completed ; thus without hurry 
this scheme rapidly discovers men's views, and without travelling 
it arrives at the completion of affairs ; and it is not a vain pretence 
to say, that when this scheme is put in operation, it enables the good 
man to perceive all matters under heaven. 

The chapter concludes by repeating the saying of 
Confucius, that " this is the meaning of the scheme of 
the diagrams' possessing four things, according to the 
principles of the sages." 

In the next chapter, we read as follows : 

" Confucius said, What is the use of the scheme of 
the diagrams "i The scheme of the diagrams opens out 
the knowledge of things and completes undertakings, 
while it includes every principle under heaven ; this 
is all that it is used for. Hence the sages employ this 
scheme to discover the intentions of all under heaven, 
to fix the business of all under heaven, and to settle 
the doubts of all under heaven. 

" Therefore the virtue of the divining straws is com- 
plete and jj(^ inscrutable, while that ot the diagrams 
is exact and wise ; so also the quality of the sextuple 
lines is varying, and capable of presenting (an an- 
nouncement to men ;) the sages take these three, and 
herewith clear their minds ; retiring they £.tore up 
these in secret, and (when occasion calls for it) they 
sympathize with the people, in pointing out lucky and 
unlucky omens ; they are j^EJ^ mysterious in the way 
in which they know coming events, and wise in the 
practice of storin;^ up past affairs ; and who is there 
that could attain to these things ^ but the intelligent 
and wise among the ancient worthies, who were j[il]j 
so inscrutable and awe-inspiring, that without the ne- 
cessity of inflicting punishments, (they could produce 
such effects.)" 

The commentator says, That complete and inscrutable, refers to 
the unbounded changes and transformations, (of the divining 
straws) ; so also exact and wise, refers to the fixed principle of things, 
(settled by the diagrams) ; he further says, that varying and capable 
of announcing, refer to the changes of the diagrams, which announce 
matters to .mankind. The sages embody and fully posseisa thu ex« 


cftllenoe of these three, without a single grain of embarrasment. 
AVhen there is nothing to disturb them, their minds are silent and 
reserved, so that no one can pry into their feelings ; and when any- 
thing occurs, then in the use of their 5|(^,3tW inscrutable wisdom, 
whatever they seek to affect responds to their influence ; this is what 
is called, knowing lucky and unlucky omens, without the use of prog- 
nostication. Their being ^^^ j0j inscrutable and awe-inspiring 
without the necessity of inflicting punishments, means, that they 
possess the principles (of the diagrams) and have no need to resort to 
the use of thgw- (divining) implements. 

Inthe^klove sentence, the first two instances in 
which Shin is used are explained by the paraphrast 
to mean |[jt| ^^ ^ ^^ mysterious and inscrutable ; 
while the third instance, is similar to an expression in 
the Historical Classic, already considered, which con- 
veys the same idea. 

The writer goes on to say, 

" Therefore (the sages) clearly understanding the 
way of Heaven, and examining into the affairs of the 
people, have got up these jp^ ^ inscrutable things, in 
order to anticipate (lucky and unlucky events) for the 
use of the people ; thus the sages make use of these 
with pureness and reverence, in order to |[|$ H^ render 
their virtue more inscrutable and intelligent." 

The commentator says, That the inscrutable things refer to the 
straws and tortoise used in divining. That which is clear and un- 
adulterated, is denominated pureness ; while the feeling of awe- 
struck veneration, is called reverence. The sages clearly uuderstand- 
ing the course pursued by Heaven, knew that these inscrutable things 
could be set up ; examining into the affairs of the people, they knew 
that the use of tlipse things was indispensible, in order to anticipate 
the conrpe of events, therefore, they invented divinations and prognos- 
tications, for the instruction of mankind ; while in the use of these 
they were pure and reverent, that they might properly examine the 

auguries, and render their minds ffl^ ^g ^ jJgU intelligent and 

inscrutable, like the ^ ^^ hivisible beings, who could foreknow 
future events. 

The jji^ ^ inscrutable things, mentioned in the a- 
bove quotation, refer, as we find, to the straws and tor- 
toise used in divination, because ttiose articles, as the 
Chinese supposed, discovered to them in an inscruta- 
ble way future events; the es pression ||l| ^ Shin 
Kiing, used in the latter part of the verse must be ta- 


ken as a verb, and made to signify *' render more in- 
scrutable" the virtue of the sages, already unfathoma- 
ble, that they like the f^ (jj^ coatracting and expand- 
ing powers of nature, (who in giving certain directions 
to the prognostications discovered future events,) might 
also be able to pry into futurity. 

The writer goes on to say, 

" Therefore the action of shutting of the door, may il- 
lustrate thei^ inferior principle of nature, and the open- 
ing of the door ^ the superior principle ; the one 
opening and one shutting, is similar to a single revolu- 
tion of nature ; the going backwards and forwards, 
without end, resembles the thorough perpetuation of 
this action ; when anything is brought out to view, it 
is a sort of shapeless mass, and when it assumes a 
definite form, it may be denominated a perfect utensil ; 
to arrange these and bring them into use, is called the 
method (of divination) ; and to promote their use in 
going out and coming in, while the people all employ 
them (without knowing how or why,) is called |^ mys- 
terious and inscrutable." 

The commentator says, That the shutting and opening, refer to the 
springs of motion and rest in nature : the writer first alludes to the 
inferior principle of nature, because things proceed from still- 
ness to motion. The changing and pervading of the superior and 
inferior principles of nature, refer to the work of transforming and 
nourishing things. The coming forth to view of a shapeless mass, 
which afterwards assumes a definite form, and constitutes a perfect 
\itensil, refers to the order in which things are produced ; the me- 
thod of divination spoken of, refers to that which the sages do in the 
cultivation of virtue; and the jjj^ mysterious operation alluded to, 
refers to the people daily employing these things in a spontaneous 
and inscrutable manner. 

The paraphrase is as follows : The sages getting up the inscruta. 
bl« thmgs (for divination,) in order to anticipate future events for the 
use of the people, is also like (the operations of nature) from which 
these inscrutable things proceed, and from whence flow these benefits 

for the use of the people. The ^ one breath, or energy, of na- 

ture flowing and travelling abroad, is sometimes stilt and gathered 
up, like a door when it is closed ; this belongs to the female princi- 
ple, and is called the inferior power of nature. Again it moves occa. 
sionally, and discloses itself, like the opening of a door ; this belongs 
to the male principle, and is called the superior power of 
nature. By means of one opening and one shutting, the seasons and 


arrangements of a whole year ar« mutually interchanged, and this is 
called a revolution of nature. When this opening and shutting, 
backwards and forwards, goes on without intermission, and ten thou- 
sand ages revolve without end, this is called the thorough pervading 
of nature. These all constitute the work of production and renova- 
tion, by means of which the myriad of things are brought forth and 
nourished. Moreover, when things were first produced, at the very 

commencement of all, the ^^ breath or energy of nature, was in the 
first instance coagulated, and the incipient springs of existence be- 
■came apparent, which might be denominated the first shapeless mass of 
visible matter, somewhat resembling what it was to be. Afterwards 
when matter was thus produced, and the grosser element completed, 
until it assumed a regular form, this might be called the heavy sub- 
stantial aaad determinate utensil ; while the inscrutable things (avail- 
able far the purposes of divination) sprang up in the midst of all 
these. The sages then took the mysterious straws, and arranged them 
in number fifty, using only forty-nine of these ; they then tripled and 
quintupled the odd one, to form the commencement of enumeration, 
and shuffled these together to carry out numbers to the utmost ; they 
also employed the four operations, to complete the eighteen changes, 
and used the whole in d vining by straws. The sages also took the 
mysterious tortoise, and managed that, dividing its marks into five 
prognostics, and collecting them into four seasons, observing the 
large or small marks of the ink-brush, and verifying the recondite or 
manifest cracks of the shell, following these out unto the number of 
seventy-two, they used them in divining by the tortoise ; tiius they 
established these as the settled rules, and called them the methods of 
divination. Having arranged this, they caused the people of the em- 
pire to employ this method, in going forth, that they might obtain ad- 
vantages, and in coming in, that they might enjoy plenty, whilst 
the people universally imitated each other, in making use of this 
method ; thus weighing and distinguishing, they urged each other 
forward, in an unwearied and indefatigable manner, without knowing 

how they were brought to act thus ; this may be called jjl^ mysteri^ 
ous. Thus it was that the sages could use the mysterious things, in 
order to construct the scheme of the diagrams, while they opened out 
the knowledge of things, and completed undertakings. 

Thus the word Shin in the text is, by the explana- 
tion of the paraphrast determined to mean something 
inscrutable, as referring to the incomprehensible man- 
ner in which the people are led to make use of the 
scheme of the diagrams appointed by the sages. 

The writer goes on to say, 

" Thus the scheme of the diagrams possesses in it- 
self the extreme point of unity, which produced the two 
delineations, these originated the four rude forms, 
And from these latter sprang the eight diagrams." 



The commentator saj's, That the scheme of the diagrams, is founded 
in the changes of the male and female principlas of nature, and that 
the extreme point of unity is the essence of that principle. Origi- 
nally we must suppose one stroke, this divided constitutes two, the 
open and the close ; the four rude forms are made by using a dou- 
ble series of close and divided strokes, and the eight diagrams by 
employing a triple row of such strokes. 

" The eight diagrams being used to settle the lucky 
and unlucky omens, from these omens would spring 
the great business of life. 

" Thus it is that, in looking for imitations and resem- 
blances, there is nothing so great as heaven and earth ; 
in noticing changes and pervadings, there is nothing 
equal to the four seasons ; among suspended forms 
that afford light, there is nothing to be compared with 
the sun and moon ; among honoured and exalted ones, 
there are none to be put in competition with the rich 
and noble (emperor ;) in providing things and bringing 
them forward for use, as well as in perfecting utensils 
for the benefit of the whole world, there are none so 
great as the sages ; further, for fathoming the abstruse, 
for searching into the minute, for hooking up the deep, 
and for extending to the distant, in order to fix the luc- 
ky and unlucky omens throughout the empire, and ren- 
der every man under heaven indefatigable and diligent, 
there is nothing lo come up with the mode of divining 
by straws and tortoises. 

" Thus it is, that Heaven produced these f[jl^ ^ in- 
scrutable things, and the sages took their pattern from 
them ; heaven and earth produced changes and trans- 
formations, and the sages imitated them ; Heaven sent 
down the forms of the prognostication, in order to dis- 
cern favourable and unfavourable omens, and the sages 
complied with those forms. At that time, the Yellow ri- 
ver produced the map, and the river Lo brought out 
the delineation, and the sages took their patterns 
from these. 

" The scheme of the diagrams possessed the four rude 
forms, in order to point out (the mode of prognostica- 
sion) ; certain expressions were attached to this 
ibcheme, in order to announce omens ; and these were 


i5xed as lucky or unlucky, in order to settle (what WAs 
to be done.)" 

The commentator f?ays. That the four forms refer to the senior and 
junior series of the male and female principles of nature, (represented 
by four series of double lines, alternately whole and divided, placed 
one over the other.) 

Thus in the whole of this chapter, the word Shin 
does not refer to the Divine Being at all, and is only 
used in the sense of mysterious and inscrutable, and 
employed with reference to the divining straws and tor- 
toises, which pointed out future events in such a wonder- 
ful manner, that they were called mysterious and inex- 
plicable things. The phrase Kwei Shin once occurs, 
as referiing to invisible beings, or the contracting and 
expanding powers of nature, which by their pantings 
and he ivings point out the prognostics of future events, 
to those using the diagrams. 

In the next chapter we read, 

" Confucius said. Writing cannot carry out all that 
may be spoken, speaking cannot carry out all that may 
be thought ; but if so, are we to consider that the ideas 
of the sages are not capable of being perceived ? To 
this Confucius repxied, The sages set up the forms of 
prognostications, in order to carry out to the utmost 
their ideas ; they appointed the diagrams, in order to 
discriminate fully between what was true to nature and 
what was false to nature ; they appended certain expres- 
sion to these, in order to exhaust what might be said 
on the subject ; they then changed and carried them 
through, in order to shew fully the advantages that 
might accrue ; and they encouraged and stimulated 
the people (to take advantage of the favourable and 
avoid the contrary), in order to represent perfectly how 
|(^ wonderfully (the people would adopt this scheme, 
without seming to know why.)" 

The commentator says, That which may be conveyed by means of 
language is shallow, but that which may be pointed out by the forms 
6f prognostication is deep. When we observe the single and double 
strokes (of the primitive diagrams,) we see that they include an in- 
exhaustible series of changes in themselves. The changing and 
carrying through, the encouraging and animating, spoken of in the 
text, all refer to the business of life (that maybe enquired into by 
means of the diagrams.) 


Ithe paraphrase, in elucidating the word Shin, says, that the sages 
took the pervadings and changes of the forma of prognostication, to 
urge and encourage the people, to avail themselves of what was fa- 
vourable in the prognostics, and to avoid what was unfavourable ; and 
these did so, without knowing what it was that caused them ; thus the 
mysteriousness of the diagrams was fully exhibited. 

Thus it is evident that the word Shin, in this con- 
nection, must be rendered by some term connected 
with inscrutability. 

The last paragraph of this chapter is as follows : 

'* To notice the transformations (of the diagrams) 
and decide upon them, depends upon (regarding) the 
■changes ( which they may be made to assume ;) to 
draw inferences and act upon them, depends on the car- 
rying through (of the divining scheme) ; f|$ Rfi 8B J^ 
to render them inscrutable and intelligent, depends u- 
jjon the man who employs them ; to perfect them by 
meditation, and without speaking to induce belief, de- 
pends upon the virtue he displays." 

The commentator says, That to mark the changes and carry through 
the scheme of the diagrams and the sextuple lines, depends upon the 
man who uses them ; while the way in which such a man may be ena- 
bi«d to render them inscrutable and intelligent, depends on his virtue. 

The paraphrase says. That when the diagrams and sextuple lines 
are prepared, and the strawfl and calculations set to work, to mark 
their transformations and determine their omens, is called the regard- 
ing of the changes, which changes previously existing in khe scheme 
ef the diagrams, are capable of being noticed and determined. Now 
those who make use of the scheme of the diagrams, when they first 
begin to select the straws, observe the spontaneous changes of the 
^me^ and determine their character, in order to fix whether they re- 
fer to the senior or junior male and female principles of nature, or to 
the forms indicating motion and rest ; thus it is that the whole depends 
on the changes which the sages mark and determine. So also to in- 
fer and act upon these, is ^called a carrying through of the scheme ; 
which power cf being carried through previously existed in the scheme 
of the diagrams, and is therefore capable of being inferred and acted 
out. Those again who make use of the scheme of the diagrams, af* 
ter having divided the straws, observe what is indicated by those 
chasges, and then infer and act them out in the business and affairs 
of life ; thus it is, that the whole depends upon the carrying through 
of the scheme, which the sa§fes infer and act out. It is as if they did 
not depend oji the labour of niapking and determining the changes, 

nor of inferring and acting them out, while i|j^ fjjj 03 i" ^^ *^" 
scrutable manner they illustrate the principles of marking the 
clianges and carrying them through, which shews tliat the whole de- 
pends upon the individuals who work the scheme. They collect the 


springs of action, and deeply meditating thereon, the ideas are con- 
glomerated and completed in their minds in a spontaneous manner, 
so that without relying on expressions and explanations, these natu- 
rally coincide with their views ; this is truly what may be called effect- 
ing a thing Pf ffn Hq kI in an inscrutable and intelligent man- 
ner. This could not be accomplished by any one, who did riot ori- 
ginally possess the virtue necessary for the same. For virtue is that 
to which the right course of things always tends ; when virtue is 
abundant in the mind, then the principle that harmonizes with mark- 
ing the changes and deciding upon the same, is carried out in the 
use of that which is advantageous to one's own person, and can be 
well extended to others ; thus the sage's virtue comprises the fulness 
of the scheme of the diagrams, and they are both united in one withr 
out interruption ; this is the way in which the sages, when they con- 
sult th« straws for the purposes of divination, are able to bring out their 

prognostications Hj^ |l|J 0^ J^ '^^ ^° inscrutable and intelligent 
manner. For indeed the scheme of the diagrams could neither have 
been invented, nor can it be properly used unless by the sages. 

In the above paraphrase, the words [ji^ jfij . B3 jS* 
are thrice adduced, and in each case the idea g^ven to 
them by the commentator is that of mysterious and in- 
scrutable, and acting in a spontaneous and incompre- 
hensible manner. .'''^^;•'^ 'v'^f'^vf ■ 

The 2d chapter of the last pari of the appended re- 
marks to the Book of Diagrams, begins as follows ; 

" In ancient times Paou-he (Fuh-he) ruled over the 
empire ; looking up he contemplated the forms exhi- 
bited in the heavens, and looking down he observed 
the patterns to be found on earth ; he also noticed the 
marks made by birds and beasts, together with the 
suitabilities of the land; as to near things, he took 
the pattern from his own person, and as to the distant, 
he selected for imitation things in general ; thus he in- 
vented the eight diagrams, in order to carry through 
the virtue of j[(F}l PJ^ mysterious and intelligent beings, 
and to classify the circumstances of the myriad of 

The commentator says, That looking up and down, towards tHe dis- 
tant and near, shows that he took his pattern from more than one 
thing ; but his only object was to verify the growth and decay of the 
male and female principles of nature. The virtue of invisible and 
intelligent beings, refers to tlie firmness or yielding, the moving or 
resting which they display. The circumstances of the myriad of 
things, refers to the forms representing thunder, wind, hills, and 



• The paraphrase, on the latter part of this passage, says, That the 
essence of the male and female principle of nature being recondite, 
constitutes the virtues of invisible and intelligent beings, from which 
we tnay infer, that the words invisible and intelligent are employed 
with reference tO the abstruse and mysterious qualities of the male and 
female principle, which the sages looked to as their pattern, in the 
drawing up of the scheme of the diagrams. 

In the 5th chapter of the same book, the 3rd para- 
graph, we read as follows : 

"The geometrical worm contracts its body, that it 
may spread itself out again ; dragons and snakes bur- 
row in the ground (during winter,) that they may pre- 
serve their lives ; thus (men study) minutely the hid- 
den meaning of things, until they penetrate into the jjjl^ 
mysteriousness of their subject, in order to bring their 
researches out into external use ; thus also they are 
compliant (with right principles) in making use of their 
fetudies, and ensuring tranquillity for themselves, in 
order to honour internal virtue." 

The commentator thinks, that the minute searchinganto the hidden 
meaning of things, until we penetrate into their arcana, is the very 
essence of contracting ; yet such study is the foundation of public uti- 
lity ; so also carrying things out into use, while we secure our own 
personal tranquillity, is the very essence of expansion, and yet it is 
the means of promoting private virtue : thus internal and external 
objects arc mutually attained and advanced together. 

The paraphrase here explains the word Shin, by mysterious and 

, I'he writer proceeds to say : 

1- "Going on from this (lower attainment in learning) 
the student advances, until he attains a point which 
is perhaps beyond common apprehension ; thus he ex- 
hanststhe|^l mysteriousness, and understands the trans- 
forii^^tipus (of nature), and reaches,.: f^h^, fulness of vir- 
tue, (or becomes a perfect s«ige.)"; c tn-f* • 

The paraphrase, in illustrating the word Shin, says, that the stu- 
dent carries out to the very utmost that which is J||^ mysterious in 
heaven and iearth, and inscrutable in the conjunction of the male and 
iemale principles of nature. Thus we see, that the word in question 
8till bears the same meaning as in the preceding paragraph. 

In the 10th paragraph of the same section, 
;": Confucius says, He who knows the hidden springs 
of nature is ijili inscr^ably"\visb::^'^^?^ n.riw ...ff n.,rf?. 
i^he fara^hrape oi^^th^ passage says; jXhereis.notm ,unajir nea- 


ven which does not possess its hidden springs, and whefn a man can 
know these, he is one who has attained to inscrutable wisdom and iii- 

The 4th section of the same book, commences thus : 
" In former times the sages invented the diagrams, 
(and by their virtue) aided jjj)^ ^ invisible and intel* 
ligent beings in bringing forth tiie divining straws." 

The commentator says, that the aiding of invisible and intelligent 
beings, is the same as assisting them in the work of transforming and 
nourishing things. The record of the straws and tortoises used in di- 
vinations says, That when the empire was tranquil, and good govern- 
ment prevailed, then the stalks of the divining straws were a fathonrj 
long^ and grew together in bunches of a hundred stems. From which 
the Chinese infer, that the virtue of thfe sages caused these straws 
to grow, and thus aided invisible beings in bringing forth these straws* 
for the purposes of divination. 

Thus we have gone through the whole of those pas- 
sages which we have been enabled to discover in the 
Book of the Diagrams, referring to the Kweis and the 
Shins, in none of which cbu we discover the least 
traces of unity or supremacy, as connected with 
the invisible beings, so called, and have seen that, 
in the majority of instances, the word Shin is only to 
be rendered mysterious and inscrutable. Let us now 
turn to the ^ ^ Chun tsew, or Confucius' record of 
his own times, as enlarged upon by ]fe jll B^ Tso-kew- 
ming, and contained in the ^ j^ Tso-chuen. 

In the 3rd year of HI Yin, the duke of ^^ Lob, there arose 
a misuuderdtanding between the king of Chow, and the count 
of Ching, which the parties attempted to settle by a treaty, 
and the interchange of hostages, when a good man offered his 
advice on the subject, as follows : " When good faith does 
not spring from the. hearts of men, it is of no use to exchange 
hostages. Let cordiality and concession be the order of the 
day, while you treat people with proper politeness, and with- 
out the exchaoo^e of hostages, there would be no separating 
the parties. If cordiality and good faith are maintained, 
then the straws that float on streams and pools, the vegeta- 
bles that abound in marshy grounds, the commonest baskets 
and pans among utensils, and water drawn from puddles and 
brooks, may all be presented in oiferings to the Kwei Shins, 
or brought forward on the tables of kings and dukes, huw 
nlnch more when good men contract alliances between states, 
and follow them out with propriety, (the smallest assurances 
Wih be binding); where then will be the use of hostages I" 



The commentator, on this passage, tells us, that the Kwei 
Shins in the text, refer to the celestial Shtns, and the human 
Kweis, or the expanders of heaven employed in bringing 
about the Changes of nature, and the contracted energies of 
human beings, which are sacrificed to by their descendants. 

In the 11th year of Yin, the Lob, Tse, and Ching states, 
combined to attack the Heu country, and after having gained 
possession of the capital, the ruler of Tse, conferred the 
sovereignty of the conquered state on Lob, who yielded tlie 
possession of the acquired territory to the people of Ching. 
The count of Ching then sent officers to take possession of 
the eastern part of Heu. These, on entering, said, " Heaven 
has brought calamity on the Heu country, and the Kwei 
Shtns (in charge of i(.) not being able to carry out their views 
upon the sovereign of the Heii state, have borrowed the help 
of our prince (to punish him.) 

The commentator here says, that Heaven having sent 
down calamities on the Heu country, the Kwei Shins were 
very angry with its sovereign, and not being .able to carry 
out their views, and bring him to punishment, borrowed the 
help of Ching to chastise Heii. for its offences. 

There is here a manifest dillerence observable between 
Heaven and the Kwei Shins ] the displeasure conceived 
against the refractory state having commenced with the for- 
mer, while the latter seem to be the officers or agents with 
whom rests the execution of the decree of Heaven ; but being 
unable themselves to carry out their views, they borrowed 
the help of Ching. 

In the 6th year of ^ Hwan, the duke of Lob, Woo, the 
king of Tvsob, was about to attack the Suy country, when lis- 
tening to the advice of one of his ministers, he kept his vete- 
ran soldiers out of sight, whilst visited by an ambassador of 
the Suy country, and shewed only a weak military array, in 
order to delude his enemy, and induce him to venture into 
the contest. The ambassador, receiving the impression of 
Tsoo's weakness, conveyed it to his sovereign, who was a- 
bout to enter upon the attack ; when one of his advisers, nam- 
ed K'he-leang, stopped him, saying, " Heaven is just now 
bestowing prosperity on the Tsob country, and this shew of 
weakness, is only to deceive us. Let not your Highness 
hasten to this attack. I have heard it said, that small states 
can only venture to oppose great ones, when the small pos- 
sess the right way, and the great are licentious in their pro- 
ceedings. Now the right way consists in being faithful to 
the people, and sincere towards the Shins. When the rulers 
think of benefiting the people, this is fidelity ; and when the 
chaplains and recorders of prayer (at sacrifices) are correct in 


tHeit'exi^ressions, this is sinqeiityl At this piresent tirfie, our 
people' i^ie famished, while our prince gratifies his utmost de- 
sires ; the ciiaplains and recorders of prayers are proud and 
self-exalted, during the time of sacrifipe ; in such 6a;se, I 
do not think that the attempt can be made.'^ li; !:.-!■} 

The commentator calls the Shins, here spoken of, Kwei 
Shins, and they probably refer to the manes of ancestots', 
and the lares rustici, who w^ere supposed to protect the state. 

The duke replied, " My sacrificial animals are fat and 
plump, while my offerings of grain are fully prepared, how 
can I be considered as insincere 1 To which his adviser re- 
plied, "The people are the lords of the Shins, (which ac- 
cording: to the commentator means, that the feelings of the 
Kwei Shins, towards any particular sovereign, are regulated 
"by the feelings of the people :) hence it was, that the royal 
sages first spught to perfect the people, and afterwards exert- 
ed their efforts in the service of the Shins. (Those are cal- 
led by the commentator Kwei Shins, and from the circum- 
stance of the nine degrees of consanguinity being afterwards 
mentioned, we should infer, that the manes of ancestors were 
principally intended.) Thus the people being harmonious^ 
and the Shins disposed to send down blessings, every under- 
taking would be successful. But now the people have every 
one their own private views, and the Kwei Shins are without 
a lord, (or one to fix their inclinations, in order to afford him 
protection)'; therefore, although your Highness may be 
lavish in your offerings, what blessing can you expect V^ 

In the 10th year of ^ Chwang, the duke of Lob, the ar- 
mies of Tse attacked the Lob country : the sovereign of the 
latter state was about to engage them, when one Tsae-kwei 
solicited an interview. His neighbours said, There aie 
beef-eaters enough to counsel the prince, why must you inter- 
fere ^? Kwei said. Those beef-eaters are a mean set of fel- 
lows, and have nb ability to plan distant schemes. Where- 
upon he \yent to court, and ctsked the sovereign what hO 
m'eant'to .dep3iid on h\ this contest? The duke replied, 
Fo6d and clothing, with such like gratifications, I do not 
dare to engross to myself, but am in the habit of sharing 
(hem with others. The adviser replied, l^hese are small fa- 
vours, which cannot be shciwn to all ; the people will not 
therefore follow you. The duke' then said, I do not dare to 
exceed the usual number of sacrificial animals, with other 
offerings, while my chaplain^ announce the true bill of fare 
(to the Shiris.) Td which the counsellor replied, This is but 
a small instance of sincerity, while great acts of truth are 
neglected; the Shins will not bless such services. The 
>luke rejoined/ In litigations, both small and great, although 


I cannot examine the cases to the utmost, I juilt'e them ac-c^ 
cording to my feelings. The counsellor replied, This is^an 
instance of fidelity, yon can just try one engac^ement. ' 

The Shins here are called by the commentator Kwei- 
Shlns, and must refer principally to the manes of ancestors, 
and the lares rusticij but it is evident that the counsellor con- 
sidered exactitude in serving them as not equal to acts of«i 
truth displayed towards the people. !' 

In the 32nd year, a Shin is said to have descended at Sin, 
(which means, according to the commentator, that the sound 
of some Shins came in contact with men's senses ;) when 
Hwuy, the king of Chow, asked Nuy-sze-kwo, saying, What 
is the cause of this ? To which he replied, When a country 

is about to flourish, ][(^ q^ intelligent Shins descend, to con- 
template its virtue ; and when it is about to perish, the Shins 
also come down, to observe its wickedness. Thus it is, that 
we sometimes obtain such displays at the rise, as well as at 
the fall of dynasties. In the time of Shiin, and during the 
Hea, Shang, and Chow dynasties, such things have been 
known to occur. The king then said, What shall we then 
do? To which the adviser replied, Sacrifice to them with 
such things as are appropriate, and on the days when they 
approach, also take the sacrifices suited for such days. The 
kiiig approved of this advice, and Hwuy-sze-kwo departed ; on 
hearing, however, that the people of the Ho country, had 
presented solicitations (to the Shins) for the purposes of ob- 
taining isome better fortune, he returned and said, The 116 
country will be destroyed; because it practices oppression, 
Jjind listens to these Shins. ' ■ 

The commentator says, that the people are the lords of thd 
Shins, but the ruler of the Ho coujitry oppressed the peo- 
ple, and listened to the commands of the Shins, hence it was 
evident , that his state would be ruined. Because the wishes 
of the people fix the monarch on the throne, and give a turn 
to the dispositions of the Shins, in inducing their protection ; 
the people must therefore first be pleased, and the good will 
of the Shins will follow. Ho has reversed this, hence his 
doom was certain. 

Th^ Shin is said, to have remained at Sin for six months, 
w.h^n the ruler of Ho, directed the chaplain Ying, the master 
of' the ceremonies Keu, and the recorder Yin, to offer sacri- 
fice ; whereupon this Shin conferred upon him fields and land. 
The recorder Yin said, Ho will certainly perish. 1 have 
lieard it said, that when a state is about to prosper, the ruler 
jis^tcnsto the i)eople (in making the government accord with 
tjieir.witihes ;) and vvheii it is near to ruin, he listens to the 


Shins (in soliciting blessings from them!) For the Shins 
are intelligent, clear, correct, and upright,^ uniformly attend- 
ing to all these virtues ; but they conform to the qualities of 
men in the retributions they effect. The Ho country 
possesses may bad qualities, what gift of land can it obtain 1 
Upon this, the commentator remarks, that the Shins give to 
men according to their deserts, sending down blessings upon 
the good, and calamities on the bad ; the Shins do not fol- 
low their own private^views, in bringing down blessings or 
curses ; but in this respect, comply with men's good or bad 
qualities. Seeing then that the Ho country was thus vici- 
ous, the giving of land could only bs to promote its ruin. 

^ This is the first instance, in the Chinese classics, that we 
have met with, of the Shins coming into contact with men, 
except in the fragrant or nauseous vapours supposed to pro- 
ceed from them at the time of sacrifice. In th« present case, 
the Shins are said to have emitted a sound perceptible to 
human senses ; perhaps some whistling wind, or, from its 
continuance, some emission of gas from an orifice in the 
ground, for it does not appear to have been any distinct ut- 
terance. The disposition, on the part of one of the rulers of 
China, to solicit favour from this supposed Shin, was repro- 
bated by the wise man of the age, as a currying of favour 
\yith invisible beings, when he ought to have actecf uprightly 
before the people, and secured their good graces, whereupon 
the good graces of the Shins would follow. From all this it is 
evident, that the appearance alluded to was supposed by the 
Chinese to have been that of some invisible being, who was 
capable of conferring blessink:s or inducing calamities, though 
€i.lways in accordance with the conduct of men, and subject 

to the will of Heaven. 

In the 5th year of ^ He, the duke of Loo, the ruler of "^ 

Tsin, wished to borrow a road through the j^ Yu country, 
in order to attack the Ho country, when one of Yu's coun^ 
sellurs dissuaded his prince from granting the request, on 
the ground that as soon as Ho wias destroyed Yu woUld' 
follow. The ruler of Yu then said, But the sacrifices Ivhich 
I offer are abundant and pure, the Shins Will surely grant 
nje tranquillity. To which his counsellor replied, I have 
lieard it said, that the Kwei Shins are not really attached to 
any particular individual, but only accord with those who 
possess virtue ; hence the books of Chow have said. Imperial 
Heaven has no favourites, but merely aids the virtuous. The 
classic also says. Sacrificial grain is not odoriferous, but re- 
eplendent virtue is fragrant. It further says, that although 
people do not change the thing offered in sacrifice, virtu© 


mak^s all the difference. ''Chus it is, that if you do not pos- 
«iess virtue, the people will not be agreeable to your rule, and 
then the Shins will not accept your sacrifice. That which the 
Shins depend on, is virtue. If the Tsin country should at- 
tack the Yu state, while you offer up your resplendent vir- 
tue as a fragrant odour, the Sh^ns will not reject you? This 
advice was, however, disregarded, .and the counsellor toolj 
bis departure^ , :,; ; , ; : ,,,j .j, , 7 .,J 

The copaineiitsrtor aaye, That the people are the lords of the Shlni^ 
(or those who determine the Shins, as to whom they should protect.) 
Therefore the first duty of a sovereign is to please the people, and 
when the people fire satisfied with his rule, the Shins will accept his 
sacrifice. The dependence and reliance of the Kwei Shlnd will be 
in accordance with the amount of virtue in the individual. Should 
the Tsin country seek to overthrow and seize upon tiie Yu state^ 
while the sovereign of the latter takes Lis resplendent virtue, and 
offiaring it np as a fragrant odour, serves the Shins abov?, and the 
K'hes below, then the Kwei Shins of the hilb and rivers of the Yu 
country will uot he likely to reject and abhor the sacrifice. Which 
shews, that it is, not necessary to depend on the sacrifices oflfered by 
the ruler of Yu, but to practice virtue. 

From the above it is evident, that the Shins alluded to are the genii 
of the hills arid rivers. 

In the 16th year of the same duke, the marquis of "^ 
Tain altered th6 burial place of the prince Kung (or the 
murdered Shin^sang :) in \h!^ following autumn, Hoo-t'hiih 
went to a lower part of the country, where he dreamed, that 
the prince met with him, and bade him to drive hi* chariot ; 
while so doing the prince informed him, saying. The chief 
of Tefn, has acted contrary to propriety ; I will therefore 
askof*^ the (Supreme) Ruler to ^ive the ^ Tsin coun- 
try over to the sovereign of ^ Tsfn, who will offer the ac- 
customed sacrifices to me. The charioteer replied, I have heard 
it said, that the Shins do not enjoy sacrifices that are not of- 
fered by persons of the«ame clan ; and that the people will not 
Ao sacrifice to any but their own relatives ; should you adopt 
this plan, your sacrifices will perhaps be cut off. I beg you 
to consider it. The prince assenting said, I will again ask an 
interview in seven days, at this city, on the western border, at 
a conjurer's house , where you may see me. The charioteer 
agreed to this proposal, and the vision was withdrawn. At the 
time appointed he went, when the prince informed him, that 

^y the Supreme had given his assent to the punishment of the 
offender, (the ruler of Tain) who was to be defeated at Han. 
The above represents the case of the ghost of a murdered prince 
being dissatisfied, and speaking of applying to the Supreme for ven- 
geance ; on making his intentions known . to one of his former ^ifl- 



Tisers, he is told that Shins in general do not enjoy sacrifices that; ar«r 
not offered by p«ople of the same clan, and that people do not like 
to sacrifice to any but the manes of their own family ; if therefore 
he adopted the plan proposed of getting the government passed over 
lo another family, he would stand a chance of losing the accustomed 
sacrifices ; which in the eyes of the Chinese would be an irreparable 
loss. The discontented ghost then considered of it ; and got the 
murderer punished, while the country remained under the govern- 
ment of the same family. What we have to observe here, however, 
is that the ghosts of departed persons are called Shins, while the 

sovereign of all is called J^ the (Supreme) Ruler. 

In the 26th year of the same duke, the earl of K'hwei re- 
fused to offer the accustomed sacrifices to Ohuh-yung, and 
Yuh-heung, (the ancestors of the Tsob country, to which the 
state of K'hwei was attached.) The people of Tsob, there- 
fore, blamed him ; when he answered, My predecessor Hung- 
che (the heir to the throne of Tsob) became sick, when the 
Kwei Shins would not excuse him, so that he miorht succeed 
to the throne, and he retreated to K'hwei, (of which he be- 
came the ruler.) In this way I have missed the inheritance 
of the Tsob kingdom, why then should I sacrifice ? 

The Kwei Shins here refer to the manes of ancestors, who are the 
protectors of royal families, and promote the one, or set aside the o* 
ther descendant, as they please. 

In the 28th year of the same duke, one Tsze-yuh, of the 
Tsob country, is said to have prepared for himself a cap 
and tassels adorned with gems, which he had not worn ; be- 
fore going to battle the Shin (or genius) of the Yellow river 
addressed him, saying, Give them to me, and I will give you 
some mixed water plants from the Mang-choo marsh. Tsze- 
yiih refused, when his son and his cousin sent one Yung- 
hwang to remonstrate. Not giving heed to these, his re- 
prover said, Some have dared to die for the benefit of 
their country, and you begrudge to give a few gems, that are 
onlv liie so much dung, for the purpose of promoting the 
success of the army. 

Here the Shin, or genius of the Yellow river, was supposed to be 
able to give success to military operations, if his wishes were grati- 

In the sams year, a covenant is said to have been made, 
in which are the following expressions : " Should any one 
transgress this oath, may the jjpp Hf| intelligent and invisible 
beings, as well as the manes of our former sovereigns, correCrt 
and punish the offender.'' 

The commentator says, that the invisible beings refer to the Shins 
who presided over the making of oaths, who are here coupled with 
the manes of ancestors. 

In the 31st year of the same duke, Ching, the duke of Wei, 


dreamt that K'hang-shiih came to him, saying, That Seang, 
(the graadson of K'he, second sovereign of the old Hea dy- 
nasty) complained of their having deprived him of the accus- 
tomed sacrifices ; whereupon the duke ordered that sacrifice 
should be done to Seang. Ming-wob-tsze objected to this, say- 
ing, the Kwei Shins enjoy no sacrifices, but such as are of- 
fered by persons of their own clan ; what are Ke and Tsung 
(the lineal descendants of Hea) doing, (that they do not con- 
tinue the offerings) ! Seang's not having enjoyed any sacri- 
fices for this long time, is not the fault of our Wei country. 
We must not interfere with the sacrifices that we have been 
directed to offer by Ching-wang and Chow-kung (of our own 

Here it is evident, that the Kwe\ Shins refer to the manes of de- 
parted persons, who are said not to enjoy any sacrifices, but such as 

are offered by their own descendants, who are of the same ^^ 
breath, or energy with themselves. Should these neglect their duty, 

it would, according to Confucius, be ^Q merely fulsome flattery for 
others to do it for them. 

In the 15th year of ^ Wan, the duke of Lob, there oc- 
curred an eclipse of the sun, when the chief caused the 
drums to be beaten, and an animal to be sacrificed to ^ 
Hhe lares rustici^ which was contrary to propriety. On the 
occurience of an eclipse, the emperor should not have the 
flausic struck up, nor beat the drums at the place of sacrifice 
to the lares, (lest it should look like a reproof to the beings 
of the invisible world) ; but the princes of the empire were to 
offer presents to the lares, (as being more honourable than 
themselves,) and beat the drums in their own courts ; (the 
first was done) in order to manifest the service of the Shins, 
and (second) to admonish the people, that they were to serve 
the prince ; thus shewing a gradation of veneration, which 
was according to the doctrine of the ancients. 

Here we find that the Shins are synonymous with the lares. 

In the 2nd year of ^ Seuen, the duke of Lob, the ruler 
of the Tsob country, asked an ambassador of the king of 
Chow, (the nominal sovereign of the empire,) what was the 
6'ize and weight of the tripods, (which constituted the impe- 
Tial regalia) ? To which the ambassador replied. It depends on 
the virtue of the reigning monarch, and not on the weight of 
the tripods (that they are not removed.) Formerly, when 
the Hea dynasty was possessed of virtue, people from distant 
regions came describing the things which their countries 
produced ; metal as tribute was brought by the nine rulers 
of provinces, when tripods were cast with these things deli- 
neated On them ; thus all kinds of things were prepared, that 


the people might knox^ What were jjj^ (regular) Shins, and 
wtiat ^ unclean (spirits) ; and thus when they entered the 
rivers and marshes, the hills and forests, they would not b© 
startled by meeting with unusual things ; while mountain 
elves, monstrous sprites, with water demons of various kinds, 
would not come in contact with them ; in this way, the use 
of the tripods was to unite the higher and lower classes, in 
order to carry out the excellent protection of Heaven. 

In the text, the word Shin is used with reference to the correct 
and regular Shins, such as the expanders of nature, or the manes of 
ancestors; but in the commentary, where the expression^ used for 

elves and sprites are explained, they are said to be |JL| flP mountain 

fairies, and ]^V W water demons, with beasts' bodies and uncouth 
appearances ; bo that the word Shin is, in ths same connection, used 
in a good and bad sense. 

In the j5rst year of ^ Ching, the duke of Lob, otie Shiih- 
fuK is reported to have said, " those who break their solemn 
oaths and deceive a great nation, will certainly be ruined : to 
break solemn oaths, is infelicitous ; to deceive a great nation, 
is unrighteous ; thus both Shins and men, wiurefuae their 
aid, atid how can you expect the victory ?" 

Hfere the Shins are those invisible beings, which . are apjiealed to 
on the taking of an oath, and who, if the oath were broken, would 
resent it, by withdrawing their protection. :^ = ; > 

In the 13th year of the same duke, tfiec'hief'df "the ^j^ 
Ching state, on receiving the sacrificial flesh at thie altar 

of the ^ lares ritstici, manifested disrespect; when the 
duke of Lew observed, 1 have heard it said, that all men at 
their birth have received from heaven and earth the due 
medium ; this is called the decree (of Heaven, conferring 
a virtuous nature.) Therefore in all their actions, they have 
this for a pattern, in order to perform what is proper and 
right in regard to ceremonies ; thus settling the virtuous 
nature decreed by Heaven. Capable persons nourish this, 
in order to obtain happiness ; incapable persons destroy it, 
and get to themselves misery. Thus it is, that those in exal- 
ted stations should be attentive to ceremonies, and those in 
the lower ranks of society, should be strenuous (in the service 
of their superiors.) Attention to ceremonies is nowhere so 
much displayed, as in carrying out respect to the utmost ; 
and strenuous exertion is nowhere so much seen, as in 
earnest devotedness ; respect consists in nourishing the Shins 
(or placing the sacrificial flesh before them in a proper man- 
ner) ; and strenuous exertion consists in fulfilling the duties 
0f one's station. The great business of a state consists i^ 


conducting sacrificeg and war : in sacrifices, the offerings of 
flesh should be held up ; in the time of war, to receive the sa- 
crificial flesh, is a great matter with the Shins : but this 
chief of Ching is indolent, and has neglected his duty ; it is 
most liltely, therefore, that he will be overthrown. 

Here it is evident, that the word Shin, refers to the yt* lares rus- 
tici^ who were supposed to be the guardians of a country, and who if 
properly sacrificed to would grant success in war. 

In the 16th year of the same duke, one Shuh-she delivered 
his sentiments on war, to the following effect : Kindness, 
rigour, sacrifice, rectitude, propriety, and fidelity, are the ma- 
terials of war ; kindness is necessary to shew favour, rigour 
to correct the vicious, saciifice to serve the Shins, rectitude 
to promote the interests of the people, propriety to take ad- 
vantage of leisure seasons, and fidelity to maintain posses- 
sion of things ; thus will the Shtns send down blessings, 
and injury will never be sustained; the people becoming 
wealthy and great, will be harfnohious and unanimous in 
obedience; they will invariably exert their utmost strength in 
following the commands of their superiors, and brave death, 
in order to supply every deficiency ^ this is the way to ensure 
success in warfare.' '' ' '' * "^' '" "" "" J"/ ', ' " '»*' 

The Shins above alltided td,' are the iiame'as thdse-spofeen of In^tbe 
preceding paragraph, who are supposed to grant success in war. ' 

In the 7th year of ^ Seang, the duke of Lob, a referenc« 
is made to the Shitis, which, T)eing a quotation from the Book 
of Odes, it is not necessary here to repeat. -'j • .n t- < 

In the 10th yeaf of the same duke, the ruler of Siirig ga^^e 
a feast to the chiefs oi Tsin and liob, in which he made use 
of ceremonies and viands which were peculiar to the empe- 
ror, when the former of the two guests became ill through 
fright ; one of his advisers wished to oflfer up prayers on his 
.behalf, when another objected, saying, " I originally objected 
to the ceremonies, and the rider of Sung would employ them ; 
if the Kwei Shins have anything to say in the matter,. \ti 
-them inflict their vengeance on Siing." After this, the chief 
of Tsin recovered. 

Here the Kwei Sh^ns allude to those invisible beings, who are sup- 
posed to take umbrage at infringements of due order in the "use oC 
ceremonies. . : 

In the 11th year of the same duke, an oath was entered in- 
to between various states, to the following effect : " Let ail 
those who join this confederacy avoid monopolizing corn in 
years of scarcity, and stopping up the advantages of the peo- 
ple ; let us neither proitect villains, nor harbour scoundrels ; 
.but let us help one another in calamity and affliction, and pi- 
ty tho^e who are in trouble and confusion, sympathizing 


with each other in our attachmenti and aversions, while wd 
maintain the royal house of Chow. Should any of us break 
this engas^ement, let those who watch over the careful keep- 
ing of oatha, the genii of famous hills and rivers, the host of 
Shins, and the multitude of those sacrificed to, the manes of 
the former kings and dukes, with the ancestors of the seven 
clans and the twelve states, let all these intelligent SlVms 
exterminate the offenders." 

Here it is evident, that the word Shin, refers to the invisible guar- 
dians of oaths, the genii of hills and rivers, the manes of ancestors, 
and former rulers, who are all included under the title of intelligent 

In the 14th year of the same duke, the'chief of Tsob asked 
one of his advisers whether the Wei people had not gone to 
too great a leneth, in banishing their prince 1 To which the 
counsellor replied, PerhapsUhe prince had gone to too gieat 
a length abeady ; a good prince will reward the good, and 
punish, the licentious ; he will nourish, the people as though 
ihey were his children, overspreading them like heaven, and 
'supporting them like earth ; and then the people will honour 
their prince, loving him as their father and mother, looking 
up to him as the sun and moon, venerating him as (they 

would) 1^ ^ invisible and intelligent beings, and dreading 
him as they do the peals of thunder ; how then could they 
think of batushing him ? The prince is the lord of the Shins, 
and the hope of the people. But when a monarch distress- 
es the people, and neglects the sacrifices due to the Shins, 

his subjects will losse all hope, and the jjjj ^ lares rustici^ 
will have no one to preside at their sacrifices, how then can 
-they use him, and what else can they do but reject him ? 
'^ Here the commertator eays. That the prince presents the sacrifices, 
and therefore is the lordof t&e Shins ; he diffuses abroad his kindnesi, 
and hence is the bope oi the people. From this we may learn, 
that the Shins here, meaa tlwse lares aud manes which the chiefs of 
«9pch state sacrificed to, in or<Jer to gain their protection. 
V • In the 18th year of the same duke, the chief of Tse, invad- 
ed the north part of the Tsin country, when a general of the 
latter state, named Heeia-tsze^ marched to the attack of the 
Tse country. , Before setting out, he dreamt that he had a 
lawsuit with one duke Le, whom he had formerly killed, in 
which he was non-suited, while the duke struck at him with 
his halberd, and his head fell on the ground before him ; 
Jkneeling down, he thought he put it on again, and ran away, 
.when he met with a certaia conjurer. The next day, he fell 
in with this conjurfer ifi the road, and compared notes with 
hirti, (for the conjurer had had a similar dream,) when the ne- 
cromancer said, Yoti will certainly die, and if you go on any 


expedition to the cast (or towards the Tae country,) ft wilf 
then be carried out. Htien-tsge assented to thii, and when 
the ruler of Tsin went to the attack of Tse, and he was a- 
bout to cross the Yellow river, he took a pair of gems tied 
with a red tape, and praying, said, *' The chief of Tse, rely- 
ing .on his fastnesses, and depending on his mnltitudes, has 
abandoned pacific iiitontions and broken the usual peace^ 

while he has ip suited jjj^ ^ the lords of the Shins, (that is 
the people.) Therefore your minister, the prince of the Tsin 
country, has assembled his lords to attack him, while I his 
servant, am ranked among his followers. If we obtain the 
victory, it will not tend to the disgrace of the Shtns, and I 
his servant will not presume again to cross this river ; thus I 
leave it with your Shinships to consider of it." So saying, 
he sank the gems in the stream, and crossed over. 

The phrase *' lords of the Shins," is usually applied to rulers 
but here to the people; because, if there were no people^ there could 
be no prince, and thus the Shins could have no one to preside at 
their sacrifices ; the Shins being mentioned in connection with oaths, 
shews that the reference is to those invisible beings who preside over 
the keeping of oaths. 

In the 27th year of the same duke, Tsze-miih enquired of 
Chaou-mung, what he thought of the virtue of Fan-wob-tsze? 
to which he replied, that his family affairs being well-re- 
gulated, his arrangements could be spoken of throughout the 
Tsin country, without the need of concealing anything; and 
when his criers and chaplains offered the accustomed incense, 
his virtue was sufficient to gain him credit with the Kwel 
Shins, and he had no cause to be ashamed. Tsze-miih re- 
tired and informed the king, when the king said. How exalt- 
ed is lie 1 being able to gratify both the Shins and men, he 
can illustriously aid these five princes, in order to become the 
superintendent of the confederacy. 

From the association of theKweis, we may infer that the Shins here 
refer to the manes of progenitors, and the lares rusticif who were 
supposed to preside over the state. 

In the first year of Hj^ Chaou, the duke of Loo, the ruler 
of Tsin fell sick, when the chief of the Tsfn country sent 
Kung-sun-keaou. on an embassy of peace, and to enquire after 
the prince's health. Shuh-heang asked the ambassador, 
saying, On our chiefs becoming ill, the prognosticators said, 
that Shih-shtn and Tae-t'hae were the causes of the calami- 
ty ; but the recorder does not know who they are ; I beg 
therefore to enquire what Shins these are 1 The ambassa- 
dor replied, that Kaou-sin, or the E iiperor Kuh, (the pre- 
deceseor of Yaou) had two sons, the eldest called Yu-pth, 
^nd the youngest Sh;h-shin ; these lived in a wood, and were 


always quarrelling and fighting; on which account Yaoa 
disapproved of them ; he therefore removed the first to Shang- 
kew/to preside over the morning star, and the second to Ta. 
heaij 16 preside over Orion. Thus we perceive that Shuh^ 
Shtn'is the jjjlp Shin of Orion ; and from other circumstances 

we know that T'hae-t'hae wa$ the f;^ Shin of the rive^ 
Fun ; but neither of these have any thing to do with your 
prince's person. The Shins of the hills and rivers induce 
inundations, droughts, pestilences, and epidemics, and must 
then be sacrificed to ; so the Shins of the sun, moon, and 
stars produce snow, hoar-frost, wind, and rain, at unfavoura- 
ble seasons, and must then be propitiated ; but the sicknesa^ 
of your ruler springs from his conduct, his diet, or his plea- 
sures; with which the Shins of the hills and rivers, or of the 
star« and planets, have nothing to do. He then proceeded 
to point out, that by the improper distribution of his time, and 
by 'he keeping of concubines of the same surname, he had 
brought this sickness on himself, which two things if he 
would remedy, he would recover. To which Shiih-heang 
replied, This is certainly the case. 

Here it is evident, that the Shins spoken of are the presiding genii 
of hills and rivers, and of the heavenly bodies, to whom the ambassa- 
dor 4id not ascribe the prince's sickness, so much as to his ovn 

In the Tth year of the same duke, the king of Tsob, wishing 
to induce the chief of the Ti03 country to visit Tsob, said, that 
''the Kwei Shins of his predecessors were really dependiag or^ 
him, how much more he himself ;" where we see that the 
words K^ei Shin. muft x^gx . to fh^. manes of departed 

ancestors,,;^' .^u-' ' Mini *um' V ■ - u['^^. '"-['^ '^-v 

In the sacae yea^, Tsze-san, of the Chmg country, was 
sent on a peaceful embassage to the Tsin country ; when the 
chief of Tsin being sick, Han-seun-tsze went to meet the 
stranger, and privately addressed him, saying, Our ruler has 
been unwell for three months, and though we have visited 
every shrine to supplicate blessings, the disease is increased 
rather than diminished. I have lately dreamed that a yellow 
bear came in at the door of the sleeping apartment ; is not thi$ 
some malicious demon ? To whi:h the ambassador replied. 
Since your prince has such an intelligent minister to prac- 
tice a magnanimous government, what malignity have you to 
apprehend ? Formerly Yaou banished Kwan to the Ya 
hill, where his Shin was turned into a yellow bear, and en~ 
tered into the abyss of Yu ; hence he was honoured with 

thejcp imperial sacrifice by theHea dynasty (because Kwan 
waa tuc father of the founder of tliat dynasty j) and indeed 


all the three dynastiea sacrificed to him. How is it possi- 
ble that the Tsiii country, though the head of the confedera- 
cy, has not yet sacrificed to this Shin ? Han-tsze then oflft-r- 
ed the border sacrifice of Hea . and the chief of Tsin obtained 
some intermission of his disjease. 

Here the word Shin is employed to designate the manes of a de- 
parted person, who though himself in diBgrace, was the father of a 
race of princes, and therefore sacrificed to. 

About the s?mie time, the people of the Ching country be- 
came alarmed at the appearance of Pih-yew (whom they had 
put to death.) saying, Pih-yew is come ; at which word the 
people ran aw^ay in all directions. A certain person then 
dreamt, that Pih-yew came to him, clad in armour, saying, 
*' Next year I will kill Sze-iae, (a man who had aided in the 
death of Pih-yew), and the following year I will kill Kung- 
sun-tan ( a fellow-conspirator.) Af the time appointed, S ze- 
tae died, at which the p.^ople were alarmed, and the following 
year Kung-san-tan died which frii^htened them still more ; 
whereupon Tsze-sun set up Ktmg-sun-see (the son of the 
latter,) and Seang-che (the son of the former,) to be great 
officers, in order to soothe tiie gliosis, and the bad influence 
ceased. One asked the reason ; upon which he said ; When 
the Kweis have some place (such as an ancestorial temple) 
to retire to. they do not become malignant ; thus I have pro- 
moted their two descendants, (that they might be entitled to 
sacrifice to thern in the ancestorial temple,) and so the ghosts 
have a place to revert to. When Tszo-san went to the Tsin 
country, one asked him, saying, Is it true that Pih-yew could 
turn himself into a i;host 1 Tsze-san said. Yes : when people 
are born, and first transformed, the matter thus produced is 
called the 6^ anima or grosser substance ; after they have 
been born some time, the superior or moving part of the anima 
is called the S^ noul. Wlien the influence of circumstances 
13 subtile and abundant, then both the soul and anima become 
vigorous ; and possessing gubtility and clearness, a man goes 

on until he arrives at J^ ^ the state of spirituality and 

The commentatpr says, When a man merely possesses eubtility, 

the JI(^ Shin or spiritual part of his nature, is not yet displayed : and 

when he merely possesses clearness, the Wv spiritual part of his na- 
ture , is not yet blended ; but when the subtility is accumulated, he 

goes on towards the state of jj^ spirituality, and when the clearness 

is accumulated, he goes on to that of Pq intelligence. 

In the above passage, the discourse is evidently about the 
ghosts of departed persons, and to prove tliat such ghosts 



exist, the Chinese reasoner goes on from the consideration 
of the grosser and finer parts of the human sonl, to point out 
the passing on of the spiritual powers of man into the state 
of Jjjip B^ invisibility and intelligence. Shewing that, in 
his estimation, the state of invisibility and intp-lligence, was 
nothing more than the refinement and perfection of the spiri- 
tual powers of man. 

In the same year, the eldest son of S^ang, the duke of Wei, 
was lame in his feet, and the prime minister of the state had 
a dream, directing him to set up the younger son ; on con- 
sulting the diagrams, they w^ere also favourable to the young- 
er son ; when the prime minister still doubted of the proprie- 
ty of setting aside the elderUjorn, he was told by one of 
the counsellors, " the elder prince is not perfect in hfg parts, 
and being Iqjue in his feet is compelled to sit. Now the ruler 
of a state must preside over the land and grain, must attend to 
the sacrifices, must manage the business of the people, must 
serve the Kwei vShius, and be present at the imperial audi- 
ences ; liow can he do all this in a sitting posture ?" 

The Kwei Shins are here used for the manes of ancestors, and the 
spirits of hills and rivers, to which the ruler of a state had to sacrifice. 

In the 13th year of the same duke, the king of the Tsob 
country Kad no son by his principal wife, but five by concu- 
bines ; he therefore performed a variety of services towards 
the host of those to whom he looked up for protection (viz. 
the spirit- presiding over the stars and planets, hills and ri- 
vers,) a.!.! [Tuyed to them, sayinir, I beg of you spirits to select 
one out of these five, to be the lord of the land and grain ;^ 
and then presenting a signet before these objects of his trust, 
he said. Let the one who worships upon this signet be the 
one whom the spirits have appointed ; and who will dare 
oppose their wishes ? Having then buried the signet in ihi 
hall of the ancestorial temple, he caused his five sons to fast 
and come in to worship according to seniority. The firs 
stepped over it ; the second passed his elbow near it ; the thir^ 
and fourth were very far off ; and the fifth, who was an infarij 
in arms, was brought in to worship, and pressed the tass( 
of the signet. This last was therefore considered the oi 

Here the objects of trust are said to be the spirits presiding over tl 
stars and planets, hills and rivfrs, who are expressly called Shint 
In tlie same paragraph, there are various other references to the Shlni^ 
conveying the same idea. 

About the same time, a counsellor of the Tsob country mad< 

l:he following statement, " According to the regulations of " 

intelligent kings, the princes of the empire should annuall; 

come to court, in order to record their business : at interval 


of three yeftta they should attend, to discourse oti proprieiy; 
they should, at every second triennial visit, form an assem> 
blague, in order to display the dignity of the empire ; they 
should at every second assemblage, enter in a sworn com- 
pact, in Older to manifest a good understanding ; thus the re- 
cord of business would operate on the friendly feeling be- 
tween the parties ; the discoursing on propriety would have 
its effect on the arrangement of classes ; the displays of dig- 
nity would be exhibited before the multitude; and the mani- 
festation of i^ood understanding would be displayed before 
the Shins, (in whose presence the oaths were taken.) 

Th^hins mentioned here are those in whose presence oaths were 
takeri, and who took cognizance of the same. 

. In the 20th year of the same duke, the ruler of the Ts© 
country had a cough, which was attended with fever ; a year 
havine elapsed without any improvement, many envoys from 
the different princes of the empire came to enquire regarding 
his health ; when two of his advisers suggested to the chief, 
saying, We have served the Kwei Shms liberally, and have 
been excessive in our attentions to the manes of the former 
dukes, and yet the sickness of your Highness constitutes a 
ground of anxiety to the different princes ; it must then be 
the faultof the chaplain and recorder (who conduct the sa- 
crifices) ; the princes not being aware of this, ascribe it to 
our want of respect. Why does not your Highness put 
these officers to death, as a sufficient answer to the envoys. 
The chief made this suggestion known to Yen-tsze : who 
replied by relatitig to him the case of an officer of the Tsin 
country, tliat had been attentive to the regulation of his fa- 
mily, and whose chaplain and recorder had been sincere in 
the statements they had made at the time of sacrifice, so that 
(here was uo occassion to make any particular supplication 
to the Kwei Shins. Ttie chief asked, what that had to do 
with the case in hand ? To which Yen-tsze replied. In the 
case of a virtuous prince, both at home and abroad there will 
be no neglect^ above and below there wiil be no complaints, 
public undertakings will be exempt from untowardness, 
and the services [)erformed by the chaplain and recorder will 
be sincere^ so as to call up no feeling of shame ; thus the Kwei 
Shins will enjoy the sacrifices, the country will become 
prosperous, and the officers in question will partake of its 
prosperity. When they pray for vernal blessings or leng-* 
t belied years, being employed by a sincere prince, their worda 
will be faithful and sincere before the Kwei Shins. But 
when they happen to meet with a licentious prince, internal 
and external affairs will be deflected and perverse, superiors 
aod inferiors will be loud in their coinplaiuts, public engage. 


n?^M^ ^^'lll tfai^ Mi cdiltrd^^^^ to men'ar WisMs ; Be^e m4 § 
i^krMy d{ 6ih^r iiiipropi'iexies ta:km^ placd, \<'hfle no fe^Atd 
h piid to remonstrances, the pnn66 nOt f^atrng ^ KtveJ 
Shfris, and the Shinrs g:etting Staged and the people ve±e<J, 
i^heh the chaplain atnd i^etotdfer undef such circum^ahce^ 
present their petitions sihcfet^ly, thfey must s-ay, thstt it r^ iM 
pj.nceV fault. ThOs the K>)fei Shins Will* not aec^pt ih4 
crf!feting,,btrf vvill ^end doWii cakmity 6ti tlie ddutftry, iti 
Whflfch the officers ab0V6-riamferd ti^ill participsftd. 

Th6 \^is0 man, ^y thufc^ Inrning the attention fi'om th^ 6fBeT«tfh^ 
chaplain to the ptihce hiftiself, fiaved the fornfiei', and reformed tW 
iStt^r. Ort reYiewing the v^hole rehitioti we rijust conclude^ that the 
Kwei Shins referred to ar6 th<3S# Usually 9;etvtd by the chieftr of th^ 
different states; Who' Wer^ feiippdsied to b* fcbU td bririgf down or 
aten the tfalsimitiefe of chiefs ind people. 

In the works of Yen^t38€!j w© httve tie following accouai 
of the affair : 

.V "The duke was afflicted with ^uptions fend feter^ foi 
«' whole yeat without Gestation j when he summoned Hwuy- 
keen dnd SeAng-kew-keu^ with Yen- tsze^. arid asked them, 
saying^. My sickness is Very severe; and I have sent the re- 
cdrdcT KOG, with the chaplain T'ho, to perambulate iht hills 
aind rivets, and to visit the aheestoricll templfes, at whick 
were offered sacrificial animals and presents in etbundanee j 
indeed, the linmber was constantly rfiore. than what my pre* 
decessor Duke Hwan bad offered ; in fact, fot every one thAt 
Duke Hwan offered, I have presented twO ; arid yet my sick- 
neii* cotitinues thus excessive. I intend therefore to kill 

thfesfe t^wo officers, in order to gratify Jr^ ^ the SupfellliS 
Rultir • will this be right! Hwuy-k'heen and Seang k6Wi 
kfeu siid, ItWoidd. Yen-tsze, hovvever, did riot f^ply. Wh6i4 
Ihfe duke said, What do you think of it ? Yen-tsze asked, Dofei 
ybut Highness think the prayers offered by the chaplain to bfe 
bf atiy aVail ? Having replied in the affirmative ; the queg^. 
iibtt wa^ again put, If the prayers be available, then the curs- 
es must b^ prejudicial. Your Highness removes to a distance 
faithful riiinisterS, and stops up the avenues of reproof, so as to 
preveht the expression of an advierse opinion. I have heard 
it said, that your ne'ar Servants are dumb, and yoiu* distant 
ministers silent, so thateVery mouth is soldered. From cast 
to w\6i5t bf dtir cbutitry, there are many of the people who com- 
plain, and revile, atid cutSe your Highness befote the Supreme 
Ruler. Now l^hen a whale country curses you, ahd only 
two meh bless you, although they should bles^ eVet 'e6 Well, 
ihey tould not prevail. Moreover, if the chiapMrt Werfe to 
fepeak the truth, he would bliame your Hightiess severely ; bttt 
^uM he screen and hide yttui* faults^ he wo^ild be hiVitiipu 


I St 

ihf to deceive Ojre Supileiifte Ruler. If t^^e Supreme RuUi 
bef jf(^ an intelligent being, then hfrcaftftot be deceived ; btrt 
if he be ttoi an intelligent bein^, it vi^oUld be of n<i^ nse to pray 
tt> bJm. Let your His;hnes« examine into this- iiiaUer." 

In the 26th year of the same duke, the s^tate of Lob got in- 
to difficulties, when one said, " I do no^ kno^w whether this H 
because Ht*aven kas rejected Lob, or becatise the prince of 
Lob has offended against the Kwei Shins, that thi&has beer* 
brought about. 

In th« above passage, the speaker suggests two c^u^s of Loo's dis- 
tresses, the one the supposed withdrawal of the decree of Heaten in 
its favour, and the other the imaginary offence taken by the Kwe) 
Shins, at some want of respect torvvard-s them, iti the accustomed s»- 
orifices ; but it is evident, that the Chinese look Upon the latter as ft 
far inferior evil to the former. 

In the 29th year of the same duke, a dragon is said to 
have appeared at the capital of Tsin, when Wei-haen-tsze en- 
quired of an envoy of the Tsfn country, saying, I have heard, 
that the dragon is the most subtle of all animals, (see 
Gehesis, iii. L) because it can hevet bd taken alive ; is it 
so? 'I'o which the other replied. It is not that the drftoron is 
more cunning, but people are not st^fficiently acquainted with 
its habits. The ancients bred dragons, hence the govt rn- 
metit appointed two officers, called tlie dragon- feeder, and 
the dragon-driver. H^en-ts^^ said, I have also heard of 
these offices, but never knew what they meant. What do 
they really refer to 1 His informant replied, Formerly, the 
prince of Seaou had a descendant, named Chung-foo, who wa« 
very fond of draiirous, and could tell what they relished, in or- 
der to feed them ; on this account, many druLfons resorted to 
him, and he trained them, in order to do service to the empe- 
ror Shun. Shiin^ therefore, gave him this title of the dragon- 
feeder ; and the office was continued iii his family. After- 
wards K'hung-ktia, of the Hea dynasty, was obedient to 'j^ 
the Ruler, (called in the commentary 5^ ^ the Ruler of 
heaven,) when f^ the Ruler gave him a stud of two pairs 
of dragons, both male and female. K'hung-kea did not 
know what to give them to eat. At that time, there was a 
ttian named Lew-luy, who had learned the art of feeding dra- 
gons from the fatrtily of Chung-foo, and offered himself to 
the service 6f K'hung-kea ; the latter was pleased, and g^ave 
hitti the title of dragon-driver. H^en-tsze said, But bow ia 
it that we have notie of them now ? To which the other 
l^feplifed. It is 'hecause the breed has become extinct ; 
^heft anln^als have proper officers appointed to look aftet 
them, these make it their byline* s to find out such things 


as are euitable for them. When ihe proper oflicers attend 
to their duty, then the animals appear, but when the offi- 
ces are abolished, such animals hide themselves, and bein^ 
checked in their propagation, at len^^th become extinct. 
Thus it was, that the officers who presided over the five ele- 
ments, wertt appointed durinor life to high offices, and at 

death were sacrificed to, as "^ jjj^ honourable Shins ; so al- 
so the lares and penates were honoured and served. 

Then follows a long descripticn of the Shins, who presided over 
the five elements, which we have already met with in our extracts 
from the Book of Rites, and therefore it will be unnecessary to refer 
to it ai^ain. We see, however, from the above, that the Shins 
presiding over the five elements were formerly officers', who had to 
attend to those matters, and whose manes after death were sacrificed 
to. We t)ave made the above lengthened quotation, in order to shew 
what the Chinese fabled about their dragons. Though perhaps it i» 
not altogether fable ; by the dead dragons, discovered in mounds and 
hills, are evidently intended ihe fossil remains o( the ichthf/osauri, 
and plesiosauri, which have excited no small attention in these later 
days in England. Discovering the remains of the Saurian tribe, it is 
not to be wondered at, that the Chinese should imagine them to have 
once lived during the Adamic period, and so invented a few stories res- 
pecting them. In the above extract, there is an expression worthy of 

note, namely the word Tf^ Ruler, as applied to the Supreme, which 

in the commentary is called y^ ^fp^ ^^^ Ruler of Heaven, not an in- 
appropriate term for God. 

In the first year of ^ Trnir, the duke of Loo, we hear one 
Chung-ke saying, " Although you should forget this, do you 
think that the Kwei Shins of the hills and rivers would for- 
get it?" From which it is evident, that the Kwei Shins 
here apply to the genii of hills and rivers. 

In the 14th year of ^ Gae, the duke of Lob, one said, 
" To have disobedient servants is hateful to the Shins, how 
much more to men !" 

We DOW pass over to the Rth Classic, called ^ ^ Chow 
le, or tlie Ceremonies established by Chow : m the first sec- 
tion, and third page, speaking of the eight laws for the regu- 
lation of cities, the writer enumerates " sacrifices for the ma- 
na-Jement of the Shms," which the commentator explains by 
saying, If the regular sacrifices are not promoted, irregular 
ones cannot be (^ resented, h(.*nce the necessity of ree:ulatinnr 
sacrifices, that they may not get into confusion ; it doeg not 
mean that the Shins themselves are regulated. 

On the 10th page, we read, of " sacrificing to the great 
Shins and K'hes," which the commentator says, refers 
to the celestial Shins and terrestrial K'hes. 



The 14th pa^e, treats of the duty of reeiilatinp;' ceremonies, 
"which were attended to with a view of *' harmoniziiii^ the va- 
rious states, and uniting tlie ditferent classes of people, as well 
as for the purpose of serving the Kwei Shins." The Kwei 
Shins here refer to those genii of the hills and rivers, and 
the manes of ancestors, to which it was the duty of officers to 
offer sacrifices. 

In the 2nd section, 4th page, we have an account of the ar- 
rangements to be made in seasons of scarcity ; viz. "collecting 
the people together, diffusing advantages among them, redu- 
cing the tax.^3, remitting punishments, relaxing the requisi- 
tions for public service, taking off prohibitions, abolishint: in- 
quisitorial inspections, reducing the number of ceremonies, 
both on festive and mournful occasions, stopping music, in- 
creasing the facilities for marriage, searching out for any 
Kwei Shins, the services to whom may have been neglected, 
and severely prohibiting theft." This direction to revive 
neglected altars, probably refers to the renewed service paid 
to the lares rustici. who had charge of the land and grain, 
and were supposed able to promote the interests of the peo- 
ple in the time of dearth. 

On the 20th page, the chiefs of each clan are directed to 
"search out for the neglected Kwei Shins throughout the 
country, and sacrifice to them." The commentator says, 
that these are the genii presiding over blight and mildew, 
who are sacrificed to in the r2th month. 

On the 25th page, we read of various kinds of drums 
which were used in religious ceremonies ; among the rest are 
enumerated " the thunder drum, which was intended to ani- 
mate to ihe sacrifices of the (celestial) Shins ; of the spiiitual 
drum, which was to rouse men to do service to the (terrestri- 
al) Khes; and the road drum, which was to urge men to 
make offerings to the (human) Kweis." 

On the 1st page of the 3rd section, we read that " the of- 
fice of the gr^at bnron, was to attend to the ceremoni- s used 
towards the celestial Shins, terrestrial Khes, and the human 
Kweis, belonging to the stat,e, that th' y mi-ht assist the 
king in establishing and protecting the country." 

Here the commentator says, that those which btlong to heaven are 
called Shins, because they are the mo^t mysterious of all thing:s, and 
invisible ; those which belong to men are called Kweis, because they 
revert (to their original) ; and those which belong to earth, ere called 
K'hes, because they point out things, such as the five mountains, and 
the four rivers, which are evidently exhibited tp men, as the patterns 
of things. 

Further we read that, the chief baron made use of the felicitous ce- 
remonies, in order to gerve the national Kweis, Shlu», and K'hes, 


wbiltt be employed a pure offering to »acrift<;e to -;^ Vv -fc ^H 

tlie6upi»eme Euler of Heaven." The writer goes on toeuurmerate 
tJijB diflfeirent object* wcarfthipped by the chief of the state, suQh <a0 
tbe^an, DQOon, and fil^aca, wind and rain, with (which are called the 
cfilesitial Shins.;) the lare,$ ru^s/ici, with the mountains and rivers, and 
those which preside^ over the productioxis of the. soil, (who are called 
the terrestrial K"h^s ;) also the former kings and royal ancestors, 
(who are called the human Kweis.) 

On t,Ue 8th page, it is said, that the "productions of the 
vaoous redoas were used in serving the Kwei Shins, and in 
harmonizing the myriads of the people." The Kwei Shins are 
here said to he the celestial and terrestrial Shuis, with the 
manes of ancesiors. 

On the Qth pa^e, we read of ^' sacrificing to the great 
Shins, and serving tho great Kweis. and olfering to the great 
K'h^s," all which appdlatives are applied by the commenta- 
tor to the gjreat ordinances, according to which those ceremo- 
nies are performed. 

On the liHh page, the office of the minor baron, is said 
to be, "to arrange th? positions of the Shins who were .sup- 
posed to establish the state, and to place the lares riistici Qn 
the right, and the mane^ of theancestorial temple on the lc?C*"" 
Thus showing that the S^hlus^efer to the lares andjnaaes ^s 

On the ,l5th page, we read again of the great Shlqs, .\vl^icifci 

are said by the comnientator to apply ;tp the '^larfisrustid 
with the genii of the principal hill^ ai^A rivers. 

Qn the BOth page, mnsjc iss^id ^o be employe^ "to inducj© 
tbp Kweis, ^hin5, and K'hes to cpipe :" meaning of cpuree 
tfce pel^'Stic^l and ^terrestrial Shins, with tlie human Kwei^. 
XXi. thp sc^me paragraph, certain fiptes and tupes are directed 
{Q he played up in sacrificini^ to the celestial 3h'?^s, certain 
others in serving the terrestrial K'hes, which are defined to 
be the genii ,of hills anjl rivers ; and certain ather sounds, 
t?o do honour to the ipaoes of Emce^tors, pr the hu-mun Kweis. 
For an e;x: plan at ion of all which see the above quptatioa 
from the pr<^ceding p9,ge. 

On the next page we read, that " There ^repjic y^iii^liwil 
in music ; after the first change, ^h3 feathered tribes, (iswch as 
bir.d-4,)^nd the K'hi^ of the waters are induced to come ^aft^r 
t.hs'Secoiid ch9.nge, the short^hairied .animak, (sucli as tiijer^,) 
und the K hiS of the hilla and forests are affected ; at the 
tiiird change, the scaly tribes, (such as dragons,) with the 
K his of the mounds and tumuli comi forth ; on the fourth 
change, the shiggy-haired animils, (such a^ foxesj with the 
K'hes of the grottoes and pits app3ar: at th3 fifth cJiange, the 
iestaceous animals, (suc^h as tortoises,) and the K'hes of 



-esitih arc afiected : and at the sixth change, the substances 
that had form, (sucli as the sun, moon, and stars,) and the 
celestial Shins are brought near." From the above we learn 
what the Chinese intend by the terrestrial K'hes and the ce- 
lestial Shins, each class of ^hom are supposed to be wrought 
upon by the sound of music. '''' -^^^ j>r'f!'.7) 

In the next s«ntence we are told that after the'pl&ying of cer- 
tain cords and symphonies, the celestial Shins descend and ac- 
cent of offerings, because their ^ energies are thereby affected, 
Jand they are led to expand : at the striking of other notes 
and harmonies, the terrestrial K'hes come forth, and regard 
the services paid them, because their essences are thereby 
influenced and they are capable of being summoned ; at the 
•performanceof other kinds of music, the human Kweis ap- 
proach, and receive the gifts offerred to them, because by 
this means they are moved and then hold intercourse with 

On the 52d page we read, that " the great chaplam attend- 
ed to the expressions employed in the six kinds of supplica- 
tions, in order to serve the Kwe^s, the Shins, and the K'hes, 
.to beg for felicitous omens and to solicit perpetual correctness." 
V Gn the 53d page, the same officer is directed to attend to 
4he six designations, such as those of the Shins, Kweis, 
■K^'hes (fee 

i , ,0n the 66th page, we read, that "those whose office res- 
rpects the Shins, attend to the laws of the three lights of hea- 
ven, that they may delineate the positions of the Kweis, 
Shins, and K'hes, and distinguish famous things." 

The three lights of heaven, according to the commentator, are the 
"sun, moon, and stars ; those conversant with the Shins, he adds, 
describe the laws and positions of heavenly bodies, that they may de- 
termine in what constellations the celestial Shins, and terrestrial 
K'hes, and the human Kweis reside. 

In the 5th section, and 17th page, we read, that " t!ie offi- 
<:ers who had charge of contracts, looked after the greater and 
lesser covenants, that were contracted in the various states, 
among all the people ; they first attended to the covenants^ 
nvhich regarded the Shins, and then those which respected 
the people, and so on to those which referred to land, and 
public works, &c. 

The commentator tells us, that the covenants respecting the Shins, 
were those which bound the rulers of differ«nt states to do sacrifice to 
the genii of the hills and rivers, together with the lares rustici of the 
regions over which they presided. i -i 

In the 27th page, the public drummer was charged with 
expelling the water insects, (or mischievous elves)'; for exor- 
cising which he used a drum made of earthen-ware, with a 



fire-stone stick, as if he wished to kill the |^ demon,; and 
when he found this ineffectual to diive the elf away, he also 
took a beam of elm, with a cross piece of ivory, and sunk 
these in the water, so tliat the f|^ demon died, and the pppl 
(where the water was) became a tumulus. i, ' T ,^ „.!^ 

.; Her€ -the. ^ord "Shirt is ^videtitly used for a noxioua demon. Who 
MWis U) be exorcised by the mefans first described, or if unwilling to 
depart, might be drowned and destroyed in the way afterwards re- 

■The iiext sentence ^ays, that *' the purifying officer was to attend 
to ^ttie shooting of infelicitous birds, and animals of ill omen, who 
could be heiard but not seen ; for this purpose, he was to take a bow 
and arrow with which they were accustoMaed to save the sun or moon 

. atiheitime of an eclipse, and fire -at th(«ee bionsters in the night season ; 

but if there wais any ^^ mischievo^ie "di'mon inhabiting it, he was to 
©hoot at it with a half-moOii bow arwd a crooked arrow. 

The commentator says, that the Shins here mean mis^liievous elves, 
-that might inhabit the animals of ill omen above reft;rred to. 

Iti discussing the meaning of % jj^ Kwei Shin, we shall 
be greatly aided by th3 analyzatioa of a treatise on the sub- 
ject by ^ ^ ^ Clioo-foo-tsze, the learned commentator on 
the Four Bookb, and the elucidator of the fiye Classics, who, 
by fixing the sense of the standard writin-gs of the Chinese, 
has created as it were ihe mind of China, and established a 
system from which all subseqaent writers have borrowed, and 
according to which all mode:rn essayists must be conformed, or 
they cannot succeed at the literary ex^mfnations, throngli 
which alone distinction and power can be attahied. The opi- 
nions of ^ ^ -^ Ghoo-foo-tsze, therefore, constitute the or- 
thodoxy of China, and all who differ from him are considered 
heterodox, insomuch that some modern writers, who have 
dared to dissent from his views, have not only failed in obtain- 
ing office, but have also been prevented, through fear of per- 
iiecution, from publishing their lucubrations. 

Keeping these things in view, we sliall proceed io the 
analyzationt).f the w6rk in question. : Iro (j 

T^ie essay to which we now refer 3s tfaf 'he found in the 
6lst section of the writings of that phiilosopdier, and is entitled 

a general dissertation on the subject of the ^ Kweis and jj^ 
Shins, which word:^ we shall leave untranslated for the present, 
in order that their ni'^aning may appear the more evident from 
the riews ent«»rtainedby the writer of the work itself. 
He begin i by saying, 

•* ThJit the theory of the ^ Kweis and f|$ Shins, is only of 
secondary iirtportance, and that, as it is difficult to reason 
about invisible beings, so it is not necessary to bestow much 



thought upon them, but coiifLne our efforts to rnatters of daily- 
use and niain in^porta,nce. The saying of Confucius^ that ' as 
long as we are deficient in the obedience due to men, it is 
useless to think of serving the Kweis,' and that ^ while we do 
not know life sufficiently, we must not expect to understand 
deatl^i,' fully exhausts the subject. He. means, that rf we 
ben^ our thoughts towards those present things which fifit 

demand our attention^ the theory of the ^ jjj^ Kwei Shirks 
will of itself become apparent ; but if we neglect those things 
which Tfequire oin chief coiiPtideration, and only speculate upon 
unimportant matters j^ w© shall be unable to understand any^ 

thing. " • '-^ '-' '■ ' - •■• • ;■- :.) ..;] ,.^ 

The above is just in accordance with the skeptical notions of' the . 
Chinese, that what is seen, and] refers to the business of the present lifd, 
is of primary importapce, and what i» unseen and belongs only to the 
Bpictudl world is merely matter of idle curiosity, and calculated to dis- 
tract the attention of the student from more esseiitial realities. 

The second paragraph is but a reiteration of this sentiment. 

in the third paragraph, the philosopher supposes a peraoti en-, , 

quiring about the e^iist^npe: p.f th^ J^ jjl^ Kwei Shtns, and 

says, ni.:::,i^\^i^- 

"Haw can such a question be hasaUy settled in the affirma- 
tive 1 and should we do so, would you be able all at once to be- 
lieve it T It is nejcesgary gradually to understar^d the various 
principles af things, and then this doubt will of itsielf b^ 

adlved. When ^^ Fan,ch^ enquired of Confuciua, what. 
was the fira-t di^tate^ of wisdom, the sa ge replied, ' Attend to iht. 
affairs of the people, respect the ^ ^ Kwei Shins, and keep 
them ai a distaaee ; this may be called the first dictate of wjs^ , 
dom. ' If men would but try to unravel that which they 
ought to understand, and laying aside that whiph they can- 
not comprehend, wait until by daily use and eoas-tant prac- 
tice they could obtain a perfect acquaintance things, th^ij, 
this theory of the ^ '{Tip Kwei Sb'ms, would be of itself intelli- 
gible ; thus to act and wait, is the highest difjtate of wisdom.'* 
, Here the writer docs wot settle t^e question regarding the nature of 
tl^^se, Kwei Shines nor commit hijpgis^jf as to the fact of their eaus- 
tence ; he merely wishes the student to put off the enquiry, untit 
things ia his view more important are- attended to and arranged. 

In the next p^ragrap^, he goef on to say, 

" Tha,^ ^^ iiii,portaut matters under heaven have some great 
roQl; QX origin fcom which they spring, and smaller matters al- 
^ohaveijheir importance ; which if wq can rightly perceive, w« 
shall hav« no further trouble in the world. For instance, t-h* ^ 
matter Qf the Kwei Shins has been very clearly discpursed 

a^bQutb^y the^ sages, you have oiilv to naak6 yourself inaster ef 

' ' 7rs!)'i'.(| j*.,ri oh aum vino jUTnicirjTtilin Uimi . 


the Book of Rites, and you will perc eive how the matter 
stands. The two Mr. Chings did not denj the exist ence 6i 
the Kwei Shins, they merely disclaimed the common notionr 
entertained regarding them, while the ancient sages appo int- 
ed sacrifices, because they saw that the principle of reason in^' 
herent in heaven and earth required such observances."';' 
Having thus slightly alluded to the matter of the existence of these 
Kwei Shins, in which he neither distinctly aflRrms nor denies the same, 
but- postpones the question, until the student has made greater advance* 
in science, while he would discard all such ghost stories as are in the 
mouths of the vulgar ; he goes on to describe the Kwei Shins, according- 
to the Chinese views of the material system of the universe, of which 
they form a part. 

*' )[(1^ Shin, means to expand, and ^ Kwei, to contract; 
thus when wind, rain, thunder, and lightning, first issue forth, 

they constitute the jjj^ Shin ; but when the wind lulls, the rain 
passes away, the thunder stops, and the lightning ceases, they 
are called Kwei. " ' 

From this we may be led to infer, that the Kwei SMns are, in the 
views of Confucian philosophers, nothing' more than the expanding 
and contracting powers of nature ; the agitation of the elements con- 
stitutes the Shin, and the cessation of such niovements the^ Kwei, 
" He goes on to say, that, ' • 

" The Kwei Shins are nothing more than the dimi- 
nishing and increasing of the male and female principles of 
nature, the settling of the injurious and the transformation of 
the nourishing properties of matter, wind and rain, obscurity 
and splendour, and such like. In man, the ^ff nervous fluid 
constitutes the ^^ grosser part of the animal soul, which is the 
eisence of the ^ Kwei ; while the j^ breath or energy, con- 
stitutes thei^finer part of the animal soul, which is the essence 
of the J5^ Shin. When the ^nervous fluid and the ^ breath 
are both collected in one individual, this constitutes a ^ thino^ 
or human being, for what being is there that does not possess 

this ^ jf|$ Kwei and Shin ? When the f^ finer part of the ani- 
mal soul begins to ramble, a change takes place (namely death) ; 

and when this |^ finer part of the animal soul is gone to 

wander, the Bj^ grosser part of course descends. 

_f* The Kwei Shins are nothing more than the ^ breath or 
energies of nature ; that which contracts and expands, advances 
and recedes, is just this breath, In the midst of heaven and 
earth there certainly exists this breath of nature ; the breath of 
men with the breath of nature is inconstant communication, 
without interruption, only men do not perceive it. When men "s 


minds are in the least agitated, the movement commimicateg 
itself to their breath or energies, and thus sympathizes with this 
contracting and expanding, advancing and receding principle 
of nature. Just as in divining, you have thej idea in your 
mind, (of what you intend to do) and the prognostication 
declares what you have previously conceived, thus you jnove 
here, and there is a necessary correspondence there. . i,.\.;. .^ '.. 

"If any ask whether the Kwei Shins are just this breath or 
energy of nature ? I should say, they are something like the 
jjjl^ ^ invisible efficacy or spirituality, that is inherent in 
this breath of nature." ; 

To the enquiry whether the Kwei Shms have their several 
limits, the author replies, " that day constitutes the Shin, and 
night the Kwei, life the Shin, and death the Kwei; is no ^ this 
a sort of limitation ?" 

With reference to the statement just made, that the day 
constitutes the Shin, and the night the Kwei, one asks, whe- 
ther it is not on this account that the JCweis go out at night 1 
To which the writer replies. " Sometiihes such things do take 
place, but not invariaWy. The night belongs to the female 
principle of nature; moreover, infelicitous birds (such as owls) 
also belong to the female principle, aad aire heard to scream at 

In the above question the word Kwei is takftn in the sense of ghosts, 
which according to popular belief coioe out at night : but the answer 
of the philosopher would seem to imply, that such ideas merely flow 
from the fact of the Kwei and of night both belonging to the female 
principle of nature ; while he would ascribe the noise supposed to pro- 
ceed from ghostly viesitants tO the screaming of owls. 

He goes on to observe, " wind and rain, thunder and dew 
with the revolutions of the sun and moon, day and night, are 
all the traces of the Kwei Shins, (or the evidences of their pas- 
sing by. ) But these are the honest and straightforward Kwei 
Shtns of open day ; with respect to the whistling about the 
rafters, or the striking against one's chest (which some 
ascribe to the Kwei Shins.) these are knavish, depraved, and 
obscure phenomena, which sometimes exist and sometimes do 
not ; which come and go, collect and scatter, according to 
circumstances. There are also a set of beings, that people talk 
about praying to and getting answers from, supplicating and 
obtaining blessings, which may also be called Kwei Shinp, 
and ascribed to the same principle. In fact, all things in the 
world possess this principle, but differ as to being either fine 
or coarse, small or great ; wc should also say, that the propriety 
of calling them Kwei Shins, from the uses to which they are 
Applied (by nature), may be seen from this. " 

Here also a distinction is made between the Kwei Shins, who may 

h& considered the contraGtevi* aiid exparwl^^ra. of n^|;ura, and ghoata wd 
spirits, whick according to popnlax belief ai*e Uepcd whistlm^ in. the 
\yind, or ^$jlt knocking against one's chest ; the former being called 
honest and th« latter depraved beings :. because to the one constant re- 
ference is'made in classical writings, white 6f the Other th'd.cla^QS cjo* not 
even recognize the existence. . si : / :, .: ,1 ,i 

Our author further remarks that. The Kwei' Shins- are ta be 
explained upon the principle of life and death ; and certainl'y 
are not to be viewed in the light that the Buddhist* o^r the 
common people contemplate them; Still there are some appear- 
ances connected with them^ which cannot be auffieiently ex- 
plained according to the principles ofreaton, and tq which U 
is not necessary for U3 to advert. ;- ii; (.'iv 

This refers to what has beea before said, that " life consttitutes the 
,^Mn, and death theKwei, " according to the expanding and contracting 
principle, which our philosopher considers the true theory of the Kwei 
Shins,. \n op^position to the superstitiovis notions of the Buddhists ; 
while the strange phenomena,, said to be coanecteci with the sutject, he 
,do6R not care to explain. .. 

With reference to the jfl^ '^ ^ ^^^^ strange iiaattera con>- 
nected with the Shins, our author says, " It is well to have the 

mind equably arranged ; if you get it unhinged^ ^ *^ strange 
and elfish appearances are the immediate resiilfc, '* -. o.'t 
The next sentence contains various references to such stra'ngeapf- 
pearances as had been detailed to the writer, which not having seen, 
he does not exactly believe, and yet thinks there might be some folin* 
dation for them. .' 

Further on, with reference to a certain family, who were said 
to have seen a Kwei, the writer says, " People who believe in 
Kwei Shins all say, that there are such things in nature ; those 
who do not believe them, make up their minds that they do^not 
exist ; and yet there are some who profess to have seen them ; 
but these after all may have been some rainbow or ather phe- 
' nomenon of nature." ^JJ -^ - • ^ ' ' - i ( • •. i / > » 

• -We may remark her^,' th^ the subject of disooui^e fs -©vfd^nily 
ghostly appearances, and yet the writer uses the words Kwei Shtns, 
aB.synonymous with Kwei alone, in the above acceptation. 

Our philosopher goes on to Bfty, ^' When winds get up, or 
rain falls, or the thunder rolls, and lightnings flash, when 
flowers bud, and blossom, what are we to ascribe all this to but 
the Shins 1 If we not do, it is because we do not examine for our- 
selves. Should people account what we have above said about 
the Kwe) Shins to be strange, it would appear that there is * 
principle in the world of this kind, which we cannot deny ; 
only it is not according to the usual and regular process ai 
production and transformation. Such (elves) obtain sai^e 
unusual energy belonging to the male and female principle of 



nature, but we have no occasion to be frii^htened at thera. 
Tfe^refbre tJhte sage did iT^ot speak about sucli strange ^nd 
uncwuth things ,• frona which it is clear, that he admitted the 
eiistence of euch things, but only did not wish to converse 
about them. To deny them altogether would be incorrect ",: 
^o the question whetlier, what constitutes the Kwei Shijns 

in heaven «irt dearth 5 is the same aa the ^ superior and 6^ 
infearior parts of die animal soul in man ? the author says, " At 
death we speak of the supsrior and inferior parts ol the animal 
^oul, but during life these are called the i^ nervous fluids and 

the ^ breath. Tiiat whicli heaven and earth possesses, in 
common with man^ is called the Kwei Shins. ^' 

The writer goes on after this, much in the same strain as in the 
commentary on the Happy Medium, Avhen speaking of the Kwei 
Shins, which it is not necessary here to repeat. 

One asked Choo-fco-tsze, about a saying of Chjng-taze, in- 
timating that the " heaven was high and the earih low, and 
thus the superior and inferior principles of nature became set- 
tled : after this they became agitated by the thunder, and mois- 
tened by the storm ;" to which the philosopher replied, '' The 
productions and transformations of heaven and earth, are brought 
about by the Kwei Shins ; thus it was that the ancients 
saorificed to thedrector of thewind^ and the manager of the 
ram." Again he was asked, " when the wind and thunder are 
agitated, is this the operation of the Shins, and when they are 
still and cease, is tliis to be ascribed to the Kwei? "To 

ivhich Choo replied, " Ju»tso : the fi^ grosser pfirt of ihe 
♦pixit belongs to the Kwei, and the ^ finer aura fto the Sdain ; 
lilfe as in the rubbing of wood, smoke comes out, that is the 

8hSri; and the moisture and dampness, that is the fi^^ grosser 
epirii. The ^pe^h and actio a of mankind are the effect of 
5^ breath or enefgy. and belong to the Shin, the nervous fluid 

and blood constitute the 6^ grosser spirit, and belong to the 
Kwei. All burstings out and operafioiis belonaf to the male 
principle of nature, and constitute the Shin ; so all snbsidingrs 
of the^ energies belong to the female principle of nature, and 

coftfltituta the 6^ grosser spirit: knowledi^e is the Shin, and 
«iemOry ^egroes^r spirit ; when psopie are jus-t botn there if 

An exo«»s ^f the^ fiaei, and a defcict of the B^ coarser pfin- 
ciple ; afi-erwardi the coarser pripciple gradually eiilarges ( aa 
men in<5r-case in bulk) but in old age this coarser principle 
ditnini^he^ : thus lii is, that the ear becomes deaf, the eyes dim_^ 
ihe natural force abates, and memory fails. I now feel that 
the superior principle of my nature exceeds, and >he ict- 


fetibr principle is deficient, so that on account of the multiplici^, 
ty of business I cannot renismber every things : thus also little 
children have no memory, because their coarser principle is 
insufficient ; they love to play, likewise, and are unsettled, for 
the same reason. **'07/ i^rl 

In the above passage we have the p^ coarser spirit substituted for 
the Kwei, and contrasted with the Shin, from which we may infer that 

tlie Shin is the ^|^ finer part of the spirit. We see, in the preceding 
paragraph, also a parallel run between the spirit of nature and that of 
m^h ; each being supposed tu possess a finer and coarser part, and each 
bein^ capable of activity and subsidence, of motion and rest, of vigour 
and decay ; further, as both the finer and grosser spirit of man are es- 
sentially connected with matter, the one being the essence of the breath, 
and tlie other of the nervous fluids, so in nature, the bursting forth of 
smoke or fire is the finer and the settling down of dampness or moisture, 
is the coarser spirit : thus connecting them both essentially with matter. 

One asked the philosopher what he thought of the assertion 
tliat Yen-tsze (th« favourite disciple of Confucius) thoui^h 
dead, was not in a state of non-existence, whicli statement ac- 
cording to Choo's system, would seem to be incorrect ; but see- 
ing that the sages had appointed sacrifices for the service of 
the Kwei Shins, it was to be inferred that they not only allow- 
ed !tlie principle, but that there really was such a thing, (as 
existence after death.) To this the philosopher replied, " If a 
man could but get a clear discernment of the rule of right, he 
would certainly know this truth. The orthodox doctrine says, 
If we consider the dead to be in a state of non-existence, why 
ha.fQ the ancients talked in this manner; and if we consider 
them to'be in astfite of existence, I suspect that in the ques- 
tion you have put to me, you have set the matter in a very 
proper light. " 

•;.,in the above paragraph, the Kwei Shins etidently refer to 
the manes of deceased presons, and the offerings pesented ta 
them after the death of the parties is taken as an implication 
of the existence of man after death. 

The writer goes on to say, 

" Viewing theii external operations, we call them Kwe^ 
Shins, or contracters and expanders ; but with reference to thei.r 
mysterious action, we merely denominate them Shins, 6t in- 
scrutable ones. The Kwei Shins are such as the contractings 
and expanding*, the advancings and recedings, the disper- 
sings and growings, of the male and female principle of nature, 
the evident traces of whicli are visible : in their mystjsripus 
operations they are called Shins, because they are suddenly 
so and so, and there is no searching into them : they suddenly 
advance, and as unexpectedly recede ; now they are here, and 
again they are there. " 


In the mbore pasi^^e the antithesis is between the Apparent and fakU 
dea action of the Kwei Shins; in the former ca«e, they have both 
terms implied to thena, as indicative of their contracting and expand- 
ing ; and in the latter case only one, on account of their mysterious- 
ness ; in t)oth cases, however, it is evident that the words refer tp 
tthose expanders and contraeters of nature, by means of which the 
various phenomena apparent in heaven and earth are brong''ht «bon*. 

One said, " The male principle of nature operates chiefly in 
expanding, and the female principle in contracting ; thus (lie 
Kwei Shins are the "Cflkaoicms or vital part of the male and fe- 
male principle of nature; this merely refers to the contractingB 

and expandings, the advancings and recedings of the one ^ 
energy of nature. Now betwixt heaven and earthy the male and 
female principle of nature, uniting and scattering, pervade every 
particle of matter j tliiis it is that we see them spmuch mixed 
up together. " To this the philosopher replied, " Just so ; but 
iet us now speak of their great limits : the Chow-Ie says, -those 
which belong to heaven are called Shtns, those which belong 
to earth K'hes and to men Kweis:' but all three have their 
Sblna ; and yet those which belong to heaven only are called 
Shins, because they continually flow and move about without 
cessation, therefore the word Shin is solely applied to them: 
but men also have their Shins, only while these are still at- 
tached to the body are they called Shins, after their dispersion 
they are called Kweis. The Kweis are those which are dis- 
persed and are still, and have no longer any form: hence it is 
fiaid, that they go and do not return. " The disciple then refer- 
red to the celebrated passage in the Happy Medlnm, and asked, 
how it was that the Shins were therein principally referred 
to, and the Kwels not so specifically mentioned *! To which 
Choo replied, " The Kweis are thosie which are scattered and 
still, and have no longer any form, therefore it was not sp 
necessary to refer to them ; but when the Shins are mani- 
fest, this is the Shin or expanding of the Kwei ; just as in the 

case of ancestors, when the "^ energies are dispersed, they 
become Kweis. Descendants, however, by the nxexcise af 
purity and sincerity, cause them to approach, and then they 
^re widely extended, as if they were over our heads, or on 
our right hand and left. Is not this the expanding of the 
already contracted Kwei? 

The above lends to throw some light on the celebrated passage 
in the Happy Midium, shewing us thut the presence of the Shins .ajt 
the season of worship, which is so expansively pervading, as over tho 
heads and on each side of the worshippers, refers to tlie manes of an- 
cestors, 'wh<3 are induced by the pure and «i icere serviceii of their, 
descendants to appi-oach and enjoy the sa'Crifice. 

Another entjuiror observed, tliat whenever the sagr^s;a:c 



of the Kwei Shins, they invariably refer to the contracting 
and expanding of the J^ principle of order: so also when 
they speak of the Kwei Shtna' rewarding the good and pun- 
ishing the bad, «fcc. they still refer to this principle of order. 
For men with the Kwei Shins, as well as heaven and earth, 
are all under the guidance of this same principle of order, 
which principle is invariably good ; so that if people could 
but comply wilh this principle of order, they would be lucky, 
but acting contrary to it, they are unfortunate. Thus it is 
also with regard to happiness and misery. Who would say 
then that heaven and earth, with the Kwei Shins, are every 
moment to be coming down among men ? Thi'.s the Histo- 
rical Classic talks about ' Providence blessing the good and 
cursing the bad.' The Book of Diagrams also speaks of the 
'Kwei Shins damaging tlie full, and prospering the humble f 
both of which passages convey the same idea. Moreover, 
Tsae-gnb asked Confucius about the Kwei Shins, when the 
sage replied, ' The finer spirit constitutes the fulness of the 
Shin, and the coarser that of the KweK' He further ob- 
served, ' All living men must die, and at death return to the 
ground jwhen they are called Kweis. Their bones and flesh 
rot under ground, and are concealed amongst common earth, 
whi le their finer spirits being displayed and expanded aloft, 
become luminous, or fragrant, or depressing; these consti- 
tute the essences of all living things, and are the manifesta- 
tions of the Shins,' Now since the coarser part of the hu- 
man constitution reverts to earth, we will not here enquire 
further about it ; but when the sage speaks of the finer spirit, 
and of the essence, and of the luminous appearances, it would 
seem as if some part of the man still existed. If it were no- 
thing more than a principle of order, how could it be called a 
finer spirit, and said to be luminously displayed ? But when 
we look at the Book of Rights, we find the writer saying, 
•Sacrifices are offered in order to exalt the finer and grosser 
parts of the hun)an spirit, which mav be said to have united 
itself to nothing/ whicU the commentator says, is non-exis- 
tence. Another passage also talks of 'mounting aloft to 
pervade nonentity.' Do not all these expressions se^m to 
be at variance with the observation made to Tsae-gnb ?" To 
these remarks Choo-foo-tsze replied^ "According to your rea- 
soning, then, there are no such things as Kwei Shins. It is 
true, indeed, that the Kwei Shins are spoken of with refer- 
ence to the principle of order, but you must not say, that 
there is no ^ breath or eneVgy (of the departed) remain- 
ing. It was on this account that the former kings offered sa- 
crifices, whether burnt-oflTerings, or drink-offerings, because 


of the ^ fumes proceeding from them : that they might af- 
fect the manes of the departed by something allied to them- 
selves. What you say about happiness and misery, good 
and evil fortune, is all right?" 

In the above paragraph, the disciple is stumbled at an apparent 
contradiction between two parts of the Chinese classics, in one of 
which it is inferred that something remains of human beings after 
their death, ancf in the other they are supposed to pass over into a 
state of non-existence ; from which he would argue, that the Kwei 
Shins are merely a certain principle of order, which sets matters to 
right in the universe, and nothing more. But his teacher checks 
him by a reference to the sacrifices offered to the manes of the depart- 
ed, which is of itself sufficient to shew that something must exist of 
the departed after death, while the retributions awarded by the prin- 
ciple of order, are still to be considered as matters of belief. From 
all that has been advanced in this passage, however, it is evident that 
the Kwei Shins here refer to the manes of departed persons. 

One LeU'keu asked, whether ceremonies and music were 
not confined to the visible, as the Kwei Shins were to the in- 
visible world ? To which Choo replied, Yes ; only you 
should understand these expressions aright ; how ceremonies 
and music may be ascribed to the visible, and how the Kwei 
Shins to the invisible world : you must know then, that mu- 
sic belongs to the Shins, and ceremonies to the Kweis; in this 
way these expressions may be applied to the Kwei Shins. 
Then pointing to apiece of sugar-cane, he said. The sweet- 
ness and fragrance of this substance may be called the Shin, 
and the juice and water of it the Kwei. 

Tang-kee asked regarding the two phrases, purporting 
that " the Kwei Shins were the traces (or exhibition) of (na- 
ture's) productions and transformations," and that they were 
^' the veritable powers of the two energies of nature ;" whe- 
ther these were not too strongly expressed ? To which 
Choo replied, " The traces of nature's productions and trans- 
formations, refer to the sun^ moon, and stars, with the wind, 
rain, and such like. The veritable powers of the two ener- 
gies of nature refer to the principle of their contracting and 
expanding, advancing and receding." 

The Chinese asciibe the changes which we see taking place around 
us to 7^ j^ nature, and conceive that the Kwei Shins are the agents 
employed in bringing such things about, by their perpetual contracting 
and expanding, advancing and receding ; thus the sun rises and sets, 
the moon waxes and wanes, the winds blow, and the rain descends, by 
the elastic stretchings and shrivellings of the Kwei Shins ; the effects 
produced are visible, hence the motion of the heavenly bodies, and 
the various meteorological phenomena, afe said to be the traces or ex- 
hibitions of nature's productions and transformations, brought abotH 
by the Kwei Shins. 


An objector staWs, thekt there is such a. thing in the w6r1d 
as the Kwet Shma' coming in contact with men,, and since 
tlhey ai© frequently seen, the fact mus^ not be entirely dis- 
believed : how is it then that our school teaches ihait there is 
no such thing as necromancer's getting invisible beings to 
descend, and that although those who are fond of talking" 
about the Kwei Sh^ns may really have seen them, their state- 
ments are not sufRcient to be depended on ; cither on account 
6f some mental infirmity or some disordered vision. At the 
$ame time the books of other schools say, that we must not 

discredit the existence of iftly '^ elves and fairies, lest they 
suddenly appear and run against us. How is this questiaa 
to be settled 1 The philosopher replied^ With respect to the 
existence of dves and fairies, unless among those who are in 
thetn«elveg fully enlightened, there are few who are not 
misled. The true scholar ought to fortify his mind by cor- 
rect principles, and thoroughly search into what really does 
or does not exist, according to the rule of right, and th«n 
after a time he will be able to perceive how the matter stands. 
In the study of books and in the discussion of principles, 
trhen a man comes to such points as these, although he may 
find great discrepancies, he should just lay aside the quet tion 
for a time, and wait for some future opportunity, when it 
will not be too late to attend to it. 

In the abdve passage, the whole discourse is abottt sprites and 
«lves, which mnny persons say that they have seen, but which sup- 
posed appearances, the philosopher would ascribe to a disordered 
imagination or some ocular deception ; while, however, the Confucian 
does not give in to the popular belief about ghosts and hobgoblins, he 
has no doubt about the existence of the contractere and expanders of 
nature, as well as the manes of departed persons, to which sacrifices 
are, ordered to be offered. 

In the next sentence, Choo approves of the observation, 
that the advancings of nature are the Shin, and the revert* 
ings the Kwei ; but he says, ■' the thunder and wind, hills 
and marshes, have all their Shfns, and in the present day the 
images in the temples are also called Shins, all which refer 
to the energies of nature in their first expandings. In this 
place, however, it is necessary to take a mixed and general 
view of the question, that in the midst of all expandings, 
there is a contraction, and in the midst of all contractions, 
there is an expanding, and then we shall perceive how the 
matter stands. The contractions perceivable in the midst of 
expansion, refer to men, having a 6^ grosser animal spirit ; 
and the expansions in the midst of contraction, refer to the 

Kweis, being sometimes |^ efficacious, (in answering to the 


wislies of their worshippers.) 

H«re we b«.ve the first reference to the ** images in the temples," 
which do not appear to have heen used in the time of Confucius, and 
which ChoQ-foo-tsae says, are popularly called Shins, though he does 
not seera to sanction this application of the expression ; and goes off 
to refer the whole to his usual theory of contraction and expansion. 

One observed, The manner in which the Shina expand may 
be ascertained ; but with regard to the revertings of the Kwei, 
when they are " as it were abundantly present, as if over 
the heads, and on each side of the worshippers," is this de- 
pending upon the actions of men to be considered the man- 
ner of their revertings ? To this the philoso[)her replied, 
That the Kwel Shins are all the same, and cannot be view- 
ed thus separately ? The enquirer again said, That which 
advances is called the Shin, like the rain and dew, wind and 
thunder, or like the movements or growing's of mea and 
things, whose manner of operation may be known ; but that 
which reverts is called the Kwei, which have no form nor 
manner that may be enquired into, it is on this account that 
the enquiry was made. To this Choo-foo-tsze answered, 
When men's ancestors come to enjoy (the sacrifices offered,) 
this in the expansion of their Shins. On this subject, 
Hwang-keii has some admirable suggestions, which are also 
very minute and particular ; therefore I always tell you to 
remember well the sayings of former worthies ; if you do but 
remember these, you will certainly get a thorough perception 
of such subjects. The philosopher then quoted a saying of 
Hwang-keu. to the effect, that a man should employ exten- 
sive acquirements and deep study, examining thoroughly in- 
to all that is suggested regarding heaven and earth, and then 
he will attain to the right knowledge of things. 

Hwang-keu said, " There is a sort of oneness about the 
Shins ; just like a man's body, which though consisting of 
ioux members, is yet but one thing ; therefore, wherever you 
touch it, there is an immediate perception, which does not 
wait for any act of the mind, to communicate the inform^*- 
tion, before the whole frame is made aware of it. This ijj 
what is meant by acting upon one, and ther« is an immedi'- 
ate perception ; without travelling it arrives, without hurry it 
hastens on. When a thing issues forth from the mind, it 
extends itself to the ^ energies. Heaven and earth is just 
one substance with my own body. Hence it is said, that 
the Kwei Shtns are merely my own energies ; when I in iny 
own mind conceive an idea, then motion commences ; this 
energy diffusing itself abroad, will certainly have its influ- 
ence all around." 

The writer in the above passage, has probably some reference Xo 


the one principle of order, which pervari^s all nature, and affects ray 
own person, at the name time that it intluenoes heaven and earth ; 
viewing the contracting and expandins: power in man as resembling 
that in nature, the writer is led to say, that there is a sort of onenesa 
about the Shnis. 

One asked regarding a saying of Shang-tsae, that " when 
the male and female principle conjoin, then is produced the 
Shin ; so also when the outward form and the finer spirit 
separate, then results the Kwei ; he who knows this is wise, 
and he who arranges his business according to this is bene- 
volent:" whether the two first sentences did not refer to the 
expanding of things, which constitutes the Shin, and the re- 
verting of things, which constitutes the Kwei ? To which the 
philosopher replied, It is just so. Again the question was 
asked, Does not the arranging of our business according to 
this, and attaining to benevolence, mean, that when we serve 
the Kwei Shins, we must carry to the utmost our sincerity 
and respect, in order to influence and cause them to approach; 
in this way practising benevolence ? To which Choo replied, 

Shuh-k'he asked regarding another saying of Shansr-tsae, 
that " if we say they exist, then they exist, and if we say they 
do not exist, then they do not exist ;" which resembles a fur- 
ther observation of his, that '' if we possess the requisite sinceri- 
ty, then the proper Shins will be present, but if we do not pos- 
sess the de«ired sincerity, then the expected Shins will not be 
there." How is it then that you, Su", on a former evening 
observed, tfiat there was something not very firmly establish- 
ed in Shang-tsae's remarks ? To this Choo-foo-tsze replied, 
*' The phrase about our sincerity, involving the presence of 
the Shtns, refers to the results which ought in course to fol- 
low our sincere feeling ; but the assertion, that the existence 
or non-existence of the Shins, would depend upon our decla- 
ration, is rather unguarded : he ought to have said, that 
when the Shins should be there, and we acknowledge their 
presence, then they are present; and when they ought 
not to be there, and are reeAly not there, we may make our 
observations accordingly." 

Shang-tsae said, regarding the Kwei Shins, '' if we want 
them to be present, then they are present, and if we want 
them to be absent, then they are absent :" the first of these 
observations refers to the worship of the celestial and terres- 
trial Shins, with the manes of ancestors, and the latter to the 
serving of the manes of those who are tjot oui' ancestors ; in 
the latter case, your ^{^ energies may be ever so undividedly 

and exactly directed towards them, but their ^ energies be- 
ing scattered, (how can they be present ?) 



Ching-yuen-foo enquired of his friend Choo, sayincr, «' on a 
former occasion, I was indebted to you for a general idea 
which you gave me, to the following effect : 'The approaching 
of the ^ spiritual energy is the Shin, and its receding the 
Kwei. The (spiritual energies of) heaven and earth, are re- 
spectively called Shtn and K'he, because they are the ap- 
proachins:s of the spiritual energy ; while those belonging to 
men are called Kweis, because they are the recedings of the 
spiritual energies. This doctrine is the same with what 
Chang-tsze has saiJ about thincrg^ when first produced, hav- 
ing th.-ir spiritual energies daily advancing and growing; 
while the same things, when they have come to perfection, 
have their spiritual eners^ies daily reverting and scattering ; 
also that, that which advances is called ShUi. because it ex- 
pands, and that which reverts is called Kwei, because it re- 
verts.' Lately, T have seen also that you, Sir, in comment- 
ing on the Happy Medium, have quoted these passages. But 
does Chang-tsze by ' things' mean all things, or does he on- 
ly refer to the Kwei Shins ? If he merely refers to the Kwei 
Shins, then his observation about things is similar to the 
remark of the Book of Diagrams, that • the grosser fluid and 
finer spirit constitute things :' but if he means all things, 
then the first four sentences above quoted (from Chang-tsze,) 
respect generally the principle by which all things collect and 
scatter, commence and terminate; while the next four sen- 
tences speak directly to the matter of the Kwei Shins. 
Formerly I conversed with K'he-t'hung on this subject, who 
said, that 'the grosser fluids and finer spirit constituting living 
things,' means, that the spirits collect and constitute men ; 
he further observed, that ' the soul's rambling and bringing 
about a change,' refers to the spirits dispersing and becoming 
Kwei Shins ; what do you think of this sentiment ? pray 
favour me witli your remarks." Choo-foo-tsze replied, " That 
which the Book of Diagrams talks about things, and what 
Chaui^-tsze says about things, both refer to the myriad of 
things ; but tiie way in which these things are constituted, 
is by the collecting and dispersing of the male and female 
principles of nature. Thus it is, that the actings of the Kwei 
Shins enter into every thing, without exception. The ob- 
servation about the spirits dispersing and becoming Kwei 
Shins, is incorrect." 

The same enquirer quoted the observations of various philo- 
rophers, as follows : '• Ching-tsze has said, 'that the Kwei 
Shins are the mysterious operations of heaven and earth, 
and the traces of production and transformation j' Leu-she 
has also said, ' in the production of things, there is invaria- 
bly present the JR, breath or spirit: now this breath or spirit 


h the fulness of the Shin ; so th^re is invariably present this 
tj^ anima : now tliis anima is the. fulness of ?he Kwe^ ; thus 
man is a conjunction of the Kwei Shin.' The explanations 
of the Happy Medium shv, • that althou-irh the actinsrs of the 
Kwei Sh'ms are nol visible nor audible by human eyes and 
ears, yet the collecting and scattering, the commencin<jr and 
terminating of the myriad of thinsfs, is nothing more than the 
contracting and expanding, the advancing and receding of 
these two spirits or breaths of nature ; thus the actings of 
the Kwei Shin enter into the substance of thintrs, aiul no 
single thing can be divested of them.' Fiirther S^ay-she has 
said, * The Kwei Shtns are the mysterious operations of hea- 
ven and earth, flowing abroad and filling up. wherever we 
cast our eyes : if we wish them to exist (in connection with 
ourselves) then they exist,, or if we desire them not so to ex- 
ist, then they do not exist ?'♦ To these quotations Choo- 
foo-tsze replif'd, " In looking minutely into these two princi- 
ciples. we see that men and things, with the Kwei Shins, are 
>?everully individual substances, as perhaps may be seen in 
the rase of the Kwei Shins that are represented by images 
in the temples. What Leu-she says about man's bein^ a 
conjunction of the Kwei Shin, is very fine ; and the thought 
is well Wi rthy of being carried out." 

The next sentence, refers to the reasons why the sages did 
not more frequently speak of life and death, with the Kwei 
Shins, viz. the difficulty of making people understand these 
principle's, and the dang<^r of such discu^Jsions begetting delu- 
sions, by leading people to seek for happiness in constantly 
praying to them ; and not. as some suppose, from a wish on 
the part of the sages to conc'^al anytiiin^' from their followers. 

A letter to the philosoph-r is then quoted to the following 
effect: " Tiie visible and invisible worlds, life and death, as 
Wf^ll as dav and night, are originally not two principles ; 
while the relations of the visible to the invisible, and of life 
to death, are »he same as those of day to night. The appear- 
ance of the Kwei Shins, as displayed in the invisible world, 
we must not dfMiy : thus also we must not reject what the 

* The commentator explains this by saying, " The Kwei Shins 

are a ^^^ spirittial energy ; the movement of men's minds, is also a 
spiritual energy ; thus, if we take one spiritual energy to aflFect ano- 
ther, we can make them exist or not (in connection with ourselves) 
as we please." Seay-she says, '* The Kwei Shins flow abroad 
throughout heaven and earth, and are everywhere present ; although 
they are of thenoeelves !*ilent and motionless, yet when we influence 
them by sacrifiee, there will be a communication (betweeu u» and 
them) : thi« is the idea of the writer." 

Buddhists say, about r,!ie nifitf^mpsychosis and connpctjon wiih 
the divinity ; we may say indoed, that in-ii of supeiior wis- 
dom, do not dwell on such topicrs, bui, wo may i»oi say, that 
there is certainly no doctrine of the kind." To this the phi- 
losopher replied, '• I should say, indeed, that the visible and 
hi visible worlds, life and death, day and niirht, are certainly 
not two principled, but then we must be clear about their 
gfreat oriorin, and examine into the source from whence they 
come ; and then we may kriow, that they are really not two 
principles. If we do not act thus, then our assertion that 
they are not two, will perhaps be no other than a patching 
up or draororing togfethitr of the matter, and after all we shall 
make them out to be two. The Kwei Sliins are said by Chinof- 
tsze,tobethe4racesornature's proihictionsand transformations, 
and by Chans^-tsze to b-^ the easily-actiUiT powers of the two 
breaths of nature, and thus are displayed, not only in the in- 
visible world, (but also in the visible.) Should wc say. that 
their manifestations are confined to the unseen world, it 
would appear, that we i\o not know what sort of thin:^g the 
Kwei Shins are, and then we should be immersed in the 
Huddhist doctrines of the metempsychosis, and supposed con- 
nection with the Diviniiy. Generally speaking", jnen, with- 
out thoroughly examinin*^ the ?ix classics drawn up by the 
sages, hastily attempt to take what they have gathered from 
outside books, and come to a conceited conclusion about the 
whole, by which moans after much talkinii^ they find them- 
selves only farther froin the truth. With re^^ard to what the 
letter says, about the impropriety of onr denying the exis- 
tence of such doctrine, and contenting ourselves with the as- 
sertion, that tii(; men of superior wisdom do not dwell on such 
matters, this in still more injurious to right reason ; for we 
would ask, are we to account such doctrines agreeable to 
right reason or the contrary ? In saying, that we must not 
deny their existence, it would se<im, that you would consider 
them as agreeable to reason. If so. then (hroughout heaven 
and eartli^ these f)rinciple?! musL everywhere exist, without 
any place being exempt from them ; and should the men of 
superior wisdoin alone disregard them, we kriow not in what 
way they would repose th'MTiselves, or establish their for- 
tunes. If you consider these doctrines as contrary to reason, 
then all those who say riiat we must not deny these princi- 
ples, are altogether mistaken, and have erred in judgment ; 
which would be very far from the views entf.rtained by the 
sages on this point : and for you still to maintain that the 
sages have not two views of the matter, would be to nie in- 


Another correspondent suggested, that * Confucius merely 
spoke of the business of men, and the principles of life, while 
the Buddhists treat conjointly of /V naen and ^ spirits, life 
and death. To which the philosopher replied, I have already 
adverted to this subject; but the question is, are we to consi- 
der life and death, men and spirits, as one or two ? If as one, 
then when the sage merely spoke of the business of men, and 
the principles of life, it is evident that he included the sub- 
ject of death and spirits in his discourse. In fact they were 
included without any express allusion. If it be necessary 
however to make a separate topic of these, in investigating the 
subject to the bottom, then between the begin ging and end of 
life, the visible and invisible worlds, there will evidently be 
seen to be a separation." 

One asked, "how the Kwei Shhis were sometimt^s said to be 
displayed, and som=;timss concealed, quoting a saying of 
Shang-tsae's, who said, ' Tiiat incessant motion constituted 
the Shin, and a settling down into a sediment the Kwei;' but, 
said the enquirer, in my opinion, although the Kweis were 
contracted, after a length of time they must disperse, and 
thus it would appear 'as if there was no such thing as a set- 
tling down into a sediment ?" To which the philosopher 
replied, "The Shin may be said to be displayed, and the 
Kwei to be concealed. What Shang-tsae says about settling 
down into a sediment, is in the main right, and his other ob- 
seivation is generally speaking just ; but I should recommend 
attention to the answer which Confucius gave to K'he-loo 
on this subject, (see page 36.)" 

The author goes on to say, that ^- the two words Kwei and 
Shin may be explained, either of the dispersings and growings 

of the one ^ breath of nature, or of the male and female 
principles of the two-fold breath of nature. These theories, 
thou'^h different, have one and the same principle." 

One asked regarding the doctrine of life and death, and the 
Kwei Shins 1 To which the philosopher replied, When the 

y^ ^ way of heaven, or providence comes into operation ^ 
jn sending forth and nourishing the myriad of things, there is 

first the ^ principle of order, and then the ^ breath o^' 
spirit of nature. Although these exist simultaneously, we 
must account the principle of ord'^.r as the chief: people 
obtaining this, are born into the world. The purer part of 

the ^ breath or spirit of nature constitutes the 0^ breath 
or spirit (of the man), while the more turbid part constitutes 
his bodily substance. Knowledge and motion, are the pro- 
duction of the male prit\ciple3 of nature ; form and substance 


6f the fcQiale. The breath or energy of the man is called the 

fi^ fififcf part 6f the animal soul, and the body is denominated 

the ^^ coarser. One days, that the finer part of the anirrial 
soul is the Shin of the male principle, and the coarser the 
Shin of the female principle of nature. The reason why 
these are called ShlnS, is because they preside over the form 
and the bieath of m^n. When men are born, the nervous 
fluids and vital bteath Accumulate. Men have only a cer- 
tain amount of vital breath, and a time must come when it is 
exhausted. At the petiod of such exhaustion, the finer part 
of the animal sAUl and the vital breath revert to heaven, 
while the outward foriA and the coarser pa.n of the animal 
soul rfevert to earth, and death ensues. When men are about 
to die, the tvarrnet pan of the vital breath ascends, which ia 
called the niountidg up of th6 finer portion of the animal 
soul ; while the lOw/er extremities become cold, which is Cal- 
led the descending of the grosser part of the animal soul. 
Thus as surely as there is life, there must come death, and aal 
teTtdihly as there id a begiiming, there must come an end. 

Now that which collects and scatters, is the ^ breath or ,«t 

«ergy; but with regard to the 2^ principle of order, that i« 
merely anchored upon the breath or energy. At first, previous 
to congealitlg and combining, these two constituted but one 
thing: but in the human constitution, that which agrees with 
suitability, viz. the principle of order, cannot be said to 
i)e either collected or sca,ttered. But when m3a die, although 
at the end they dissipate and revert to nothing, yet they are 
not all at once dispersed ; thu;3 it is that in sacrificin^^ (to th^ 
manes of the departed) there is such a thing as affecting and 
inducing them to come. When first ancestors, however, are 
removed to a distant period, it is not known whether theif 
breath or energy is in existence or not ; but tho3:3 who offer 
the accustomed sacrifices, being the descendants of the said 
progenitors, posssss after all but one breath or energy, with 
that which animated their ancestors, so that there is a possibi- 
lity of influencing and causing them to psrvada dawn to the 
latest generation. But after the breath has once dispersed, it 
never collects a^ain. The Buddhists talk about people after 
death becoming Kweis, ajid these Kweis again becoming 
men, (in the transmigration of souls) ; thus betwixt heavea 
and earth, they would have a certain number of men coming 
and going, backwaids and forwards, without being produced 
and transformed, and born one of another in the usual Y^ay, 
which is contrary to re^^on. With respect to Pth-y^wM b0- 
(idttiihj a miscliievous demoii, E-chuen considers this to be a 

different (hin^ entirely : for when a man's W(^ vital enetgies 


-are not rome to the time when they should be exhausted, and 
he is violently put to death, he may become a mischievous 
eprite; and therefore Tsze-san recommended that the descen- 
dants of such should be appointed to office, that being thua 
entitled to offer sacrifice in the ancestorial temple, the discon- 
tented ghost might have some place to revert to, and thus leave 
off being mischievous ; from which he may be said to have un- 
derstood the form and manner of the Kwei Shins. One ask- 
ed, whether, as E-chuen calls the Kwei Shins the traces or 
exhibitions of nature's production and transformation, these 
mischievous elves might also be considered the traces of such 
production and transformation 1 To which the philoso- 
pher replied, All the same. If we speak of the correct princi- 
ple, it isjustlikca tree suddenly sprouting forth flowers and 
leaves ; these are the traces of production and transformation : 
or as in empty air suddenly there appear thunder and light- 
ing, wind and rain, which are to be ascribed to the same prin- 
ciple. Only because people witness these things constantly, 
they do not account them strange ; but when they suddenly 
hear the whistling of the wind, and observe the ignis fatuus, 
"they consider it strange; not knowing that these are also 
traces of nature's production and transformation, only not 
in the regular order, and therefore they are accounted strange. 
Just as the Book of Family Instructions says, ' The sprites of 
hills are called fairies in human shape ; those of the waterrs 
are denominated elves of a dragon form; and those of the 
earth, monsters of the satyr kind ; all which are produced by 

heterogeneous and mischievous ^ energies, and must not 
be considered as contrary to reason.' We cannot say, thai 
such things do not exist. For instance, cold in winter, and 
heat in summer, are according to the correct order of things, 
but sometimes we have cold in summer, and heat in winter ; 
the existence of such things cannot be denied ; only because 
they are not according to the usual order of thin:^s, we ac- 
count them strange. On this account, Confucius would not 
speak of strange things ; and the student, also, need not trou- 
ble himself about them. 

Yung-che said, When men pray to heaven and earth, with 
the Kwei Shins, they take their own existence and affect the 
existence of invisible beings , but when descendants sacri- 
fice to their first ancestors, they employ their own existence to 
affect the non-existence of their progenitors. To this ober- 
vation the philosopher replied, The ^ energies of the Shins 
and the K'hes are constantly contracting and expanding, 
without intermission ; while the energies of men and KweiJi 
disperse and scatter, without leaving anything behind them ; 


only their dispersinga and scatteiing* differ, in being some- 
limes rapid and sometimes protracted. When men do not 
own the justice of their death, then though dead, their ener- 
gies do not disperse, but they become monsters and sprites: 
as when men are put to death violently, or when priests of 
Buddha and Taou (who nourish their energies, and get them 
to conglomerate) die, they frequently do not scatter. Such 
as the sa^es and philosophers, however, who die contentedly, 
who ^^^^ heard of their not scattering, or of their becoming 
ffi^ ^ sprites and elves ? Hwang-te for instance, with 
Yaou and Shiin, no one ever heard of their becoming spiritu- 
al monsters after their death. One speaks of a certain per- 
son, whose energies after his dtarfi became conglomerated, 
and filled the whole house with a fragrant odour, which did 
not disperse for several days ; this was occasioned by tlie 
fulness of his energies, which produced this effect. 

One asked, Whether the Kwei Shins were not constituted 
of the nervous fluids and vital breath, with the finer and 
coarser parts of the animal soul 1 To which the philosopher 
replied, Just so : and you may take our own bodies for an 
instance ; we are able to laugh and talk, and have a certain 
amount of knowledge and intelligence ; and we may ask, 
How does this come about ? So also in the empty air, sud- 
denly winds arise and rains descend, and again, the thunders 
roll and lightninq^s flash ; and we may ask, How are these 
things efiected 1 To which we may reply, That they may all 
be ascribed to the male and female principle of nature, mu- 
tual ly affecting each other, or to the Kwei Shins, which bring 
about these effects. We see, that our bodies are mere fleshly 
tenements, whilst within and without there is nothinjj bwt 

the ^ vital energy of the male and female principle of 
heaven and earth. 

In explaining the connection of the finer and coarser ani- 
mal soul, with the Kwei and Shin, the philosopher remark- 
ed: With regard to (us) men, the one half belongs to the 
Shm, and the other to the Kwei ; only previous to death, the 
Shin predominates, while after death, the Kwei prevails; 
which is the length and breadth of the matter. Speaking of 
their contractings and expandings, with their advancings 
and recedin^s, we may say, that that which approaches is 
the Shin, and that which departs the Kwei : and with refer- 
ence to the human body, we may observe, that the ^ vital 
breath is the Shin, and the ^m nervous fluid the Kwei ; only 
their contractings and expandings, their advancings and re- 
cedirlgs are all gradual. 

Further on, an enquirer suggests, that since the Kwei 


Shiii, with the finer and coarser parts of the animal soul, alt 
belong to one and the same body, and atfe nothing more thart 
the two enf^rgies of the male and female principle of nature ; 
how is il that after having called them Kwei Shins, you &- 
gain desionate them the finer and coarser parte of the an^tnal 
feOul 7 The idea has been thrown out, that the term Kwei 
Shin refers to theii" contracting and expanding, advancing 
and receding ; while the phrase finer and coarser parts of th^e 

animal soul, refets to the ^ spirituality of the irtc^ivid-ual , 
and to his pwesessing knowledge and perception ; or perhaps 
the contracting and expanding being considered insufficient 
fully to describe the Kwei Shin, therefore the schoolmen 
have united the two expressions, and considered them as but 

one ^ vital breath, contractmg and expanding, and so forth. 

Viewing them separately, then, the Shin is the_^g spiritual or 
yital part of the male principle of nature, and the Kwei that 
of the female ; and because they can be spoken of either win- 
tedly or separately, therefore they are called the Kwei Shin ; 
because, also, some think that they can be spoken of^separate- 
ly and not unitedly, therefore they are called the finer and 
coarser parts of the animal soul. Or shall we take the idea of 
Nan-heen, who says, that the finer part of the animal soul 
belonging to the male principle of nature is the Shin, and 
the coarser part belonging to the female is the Kwei. and 
then say that the Kwei Shin, with the finer and coarser 
parts of the animal soul, caunot be distinctly spoken of. 1 
should say after all, that although the whole may be referred 
to one vitAl breath, contracting and expanding, coming and 
going, yet the contracting part of it is the female principle, 
and the expanding part of it tlie male principle ; the reced- 
ing again is the female, and the advancing is the male prin- 
ciple of nature ; and thus what is called the vital part of the 
male and female principle of nature, is nothing more than 
the contracting and expanding, advancing and receding, ju^t 
spoken of. To all those suggestions, the philosopher repM, 

ed, The Kw^ii Shins refesr to the one ^ breath of nature, 
which exists between heaven and earth ; the finer and coar^- 
ser parts of the animal soul, r^jspsct principally human 
beings ; when the breath or energy of nature expands, (in 
the birth of man) then the nervous* fluids and the coarser parts 
of the animal soul, are indeed fully prepared, hut the Shin at 
that time preYails ; tmtil the breath of nature cdnttacts 
again (towardiS the death of man,)' when although the ifincft- 
parts of the Aoimal soul and the vital breath are still pre- 
served, yet the Kwei then predominates. W l»eo the bre«th 
OT energy i* exhaiia ted then the coarser parts !(rf tfct animal 


soul (^cecend, and become purely converted into the Kwei. 
Thus it is, that when men die they are called Kweis. With 
regard to the assertion of Nau-heen, I do not recollect tlie 
cpnnection in which it stands, and only rememher these two 
phrases; 5till we cannot lielp speaking of the Kwei Shins, 
with the finer and coarser parts of the animal soul, as dis- 
tinct things. 

This and much m(»re to the same purpose, goes on to the 
end of the chapter, which it is not necessary here to detail^ 
We therefore proceed to set forth a little of what he says re- 
garding sacrificing to the Shins of ancettors. 

Chow asked, Why are those wtiich belong to heaven cal- 
led Shins, those which belong to earth termed K'hes, and 
those which belong to men denominated Kweis ? To this th« 
philosopher replied, This is to distinguish those wlio possess 
the pure and clear part of the breath of nature as the Shini, 
such as the sun^ moon, and stars, which are incomprehensible 
in their changes and transformations. The word ^^ K'he is 

the same with ^ftshe, to display, and is applied to invisible 
beings, because of their exhibiting traces that may be seen, 
such as hills, rivers, grass, trees. <fcc. which are different 
from the heavenly bodies (in beirig more distinct and tans^ible) ; 
with respect to men, then after death they become Kweis. 
Again the enquirer asked, Seeing that men have departed 
and become Kweis, why are progenitors said to be mfluen- 
Ged and to come ! To this the philosopher replied, This 
speaks of their being influenced by sacrifi(-es ;artd wh;^n their 
coming and approaching is alluded to, there is a slight idea 
of the Shim, or expanding principle contained in it : the wor- 
shippers taking their animal spirits to influence the animal 
spirits of the departed. Sacrifices and offerinsfs are altog«- 
ther presented with this, view» So also when the emperor 
sacrifices to- heaven and earth, the princes of th'3 empire to the 
hill? and rivers, and the great oflict-Ts lo the genii of the five 
parts of the house, it is all done because the animal spirits of 
each sacrificer ai<e suited to the objects sacrificed to^ and in 
such case can influence them and cause them to approach. 
Should, however, the princes of the empire sacrifice to heaven 
and earth, and the great officers sacrifice to the genii of the 
hills and rivers ; there would be no proprisiy iu it, and the 
same results would not follow. 

Chin-haou asked, Whether a man's ancestors were not on* 

and the same ^^ breath or energy, with the energies that 
subsist between heaven and eardi, only collecting or scatter- 
ings according as descendants attended to or neglected the ac- 
cu3ton\ed saciifices ? To this the philosopher replie;d,.Thias 


is the same idea with what Shan^-tsae said about the Kwt^i- 
Shtijs being present or absent according as we wished ; thus 
making their presence depend on men. The Kwei Shins, 
however, are things originally existing, and the manes of 

progenitors are of one ^ breath or energy with them, but 
there must be something to bring them to a focus. For in- 
stance, wherever the bodies of descendants arc, there the 
manes of ancestors are also present, one blood flowing 
through their veins ; thus it is. that the Shins do dot enjoy 
sacrifices that are not offered by persons of their own clan ; 
and that the people must not present sacrifices to any, but 
the manes of their own family. But in those instances ia 
which the same breath or eneroy does not pervade the par- 
ties ; as when the emperor sacrifices to heaven and earth, the 
princes of tlie empire to the hills and rivers, and the great of-- 
ficers to I he genii of the five parts of the house; although 
these obj ;cts are not th'^. ancestors of the worshippers, yet 
the eni;) ror is the lord of the empire, the princes are the 
lords of the hills and rivers, and the great ofiicers are the 
lords of the five parts of the house ; and when these are the 
lords of those, then they are of the same breath or energy, 
which generally pervades their bodies ; thus there is a con- 

One asked whether the finer and grosser parts of the ani- 
mal soul scattered immsdiatelr after death, or not ? To 
which the philosopher replied, They certainly scatter. The 
enquirer again asked, How ih^n is it that when descendants 
sacrifice to them, they are influenced and induced to come ? 
To which the master replied, all descendants are of 
the same breath or energy with their ancestors ; and al- 
though the energies of progenitors are scattered, their roots 
are still in existence, so that when posterity carry out their 
sincerity and respect to the utmost, then they can call and 
induce the energies of rheir forefathers to collect and be pre- 
sent. Just like the waves of the sea ; succeeding waves are 
not the sam^. as thos^. which preceded, and yet they are all 
one sheet of water ; in this way, the energies of descendants 
are the same with those of their ancestors. It may be that 
the energies of progenitors are already scattered, but their 
roots are still in existence, and their root being in existence, 
it is possible to lead and collect their energies also. This 
matter is of diiB:ult explanation, but men must try to under- 
stand it for themselves. One asked about an expression in 
the Book of O J js, referring to "the three princes being in 
heaven," which the master ha I already explained as mean- 
ing, that althouih they were dead, their animal spirits had 
ascended up and were united in heaven ? To which the phi- 


losopher replied, Still tliey may be considered as here preseiit 
(when sacrificed to.) One of the disciples ohsei^vred, I sus- 
pect that the ^^1 principle of order belonging to them had al- 
ready ascended and became united in heaven. To which the 
master replied, Since the principle of order is in exristence, 
the energy must be in existence likewise. One asked, Whe- 
ther the sages had received a purer and clearer energy from 
heaven, and thus it was, that when they died, their energies 
ascended and hecaiiie united in heaven ? To which th^ kn- 
«wer was made, This is also the case ; but this af&it is 
altogether very tleep and mysterious, and t>eople mu?t try 
and get an idea of it for themselves. Of the various princi- 
ples existing in tjie world, some are very easy of perception, 
andf some are changeable and out of the usual course, so that 
they cannot be fathomed; if we bear the^e observations in 
miVd, we shall be able to see these prirLciples in a fresh and 
lively p6int of view. $q also, when it is said in the clasr. 
sic, "the finer and grosser animal soul of Wan-wang ascend-v 

ed ^n(J -(^es»e^4^)^'i^ was in tha presence of ^ th& (l^u- 
p^^n»e)5«uler;;" if we should say now, that Wan-wa»tg i^ 

actually ill the presence of _£^ ^ the Supreme Ruler, W6 
m,iigkt infer that the Supreme Ruler really does exist, but he 
is not to be confounded with the iMiagcs that ^re to be met 
with in the world. - .':ijr>'-'i -nv^^'^rvin .'.-.i-ni':' - ^'^'•- .['■'*■!. 
^ One su^sted, thdfc ' the it^^' ShtfifS Wftrei probably of tt#« 
kindat the generative and productive stimuli of the tWd- 
energies that exist between heaven and earth, are doubtless' 
K.W6I Shins J when theSr^ are influenced by the sacrifices of- 
fered, then really existing msn influenoe really existing Shin?.. 
But men at their death be<Jome Kweis, and when these are' 
influenced by sacrifices, then really existing men influen-ce^ 
Boh-iexisting Kweis* To which the philosopher replied. 
Just so : hence we talk of the celestial Shins, and the hiii^ 
man Kweis. The Shins are the expanding parts of the 
breath of nature, and are constantly existing ; the Kweis are 
the contracting parts of the same breath, and are already 
dispersed : but when the worshippers, by means of their 
possessing the same animal spirits, go and collect them, then' 
they may be rendered united and present. The enquirer 
again said^ When not infl4ienced by sacrifices are these 
Kweis constantly present or not ? To which th6 philoso- 
pher replied, Should they be present, without being influenced' 
by sacrifices, they would only be hungry Kweis. 

One asked, when descendants carry out' to the utmost their 
sincerity and respect, in sacrificing to the animal spirits of 
their ancestors, do they unite the fitter and coarser part& erf -* 



their animal soul, or only influence the finer parts of their 
animal soul, with their breath or energies to approach ? To 
"which the master replied, The fat burned in sacrificea is in- 
tended to requite the breath of nature, and the libations pour- 
ed out are designed to induce the Kweis to com-?, thus the 
two are united ; hence it is laid, that to unite the Kwei with 
the Shtns constitutes the excellence of the right doctrine. The 
enquirer again asked, Are they always thus united, or only 
when sacrificed to? To this the philosopher replied, When- 
ever the energies of descendants are in existence, then the 
energies of progenitors are also in existence, but without 
sacrifices, they could not be collected together. 

The above quotations from C'noo-foo-tsz^ will speak for theraselve&, 
and will be considered sufficient to illustrate the ideas which the Chi- 
nese literati entertain of the Kwei Shins. 

On a review of the whole of what has been adduced from 
the Confucian school in rhe preceding pages, we find that 
amongst 800 references to the word Shin and its cognates, 
the following classification may be made. 

1 . Shin, used for the expanders of nature, (in which the cor- 
responding^ word Kwei, contracter, is in the majority of in- 
stances connected with it, either expressed or implied,) occurs 
61 times. In all of the above instances, there is a reference 
to the elastic powers of nature, which are supposed to ex- 
pand and contract, advance or recede, and thus keep up the 
perpetual motion, as well as the constant reproduction of 
men and things. The idea attached in these cases to the 
word Shin, connects it very closely with materialism. 

2. Shin, used for the celestial Shins, (in which the corres- 
ponding term terrestrial K'hes is mostly connected with it, 
eitfier expressed or implied,) occurs 45 times. The meaning 
generally attached by the Chinese to the celestial Shins, is 
that of the expanders of heaven, as that to the terrestrial K'e» 
is that of the extractors of earth. In three instances the 
celestial Shins refer to the genii presiding over the heavenly 
bodies ; and sometimes, but rarely, they are supposed from 
their elevated position, to receive the homage and sacrifices 
paid to Heaven, while the Supreme Power is thought to re- 
sent any slight or neglect with which they may be treated. 

3. The word Shin, is once used for the terrestrial K'he. 

4. We find also the word Shin four times used for upper 
Shins, in which it is contrasted with the lower Shins, and both 
refer then to the celestial Shins, and terrestrial K'hes spoken 
of above. * 

5. The word Shin is applied also to the genii of hills and 
rivers 36 times, besides which we have a distinction seven or 
^ight times drawn between great Shins, or the genii of great 


mountains, and little vShins, or those wliieh preside over 
•njaller mounds and hillocks. 

6. 5hin is once applied to the spirits presiding over the five 
parts of every private dwelling. 

7. A very common use of tlie word Shin is with reference to 
invisible beings in general, without determining whether the 
spirits presiding over the heavenly bodies, the genii of the 
hills and rivers, or the manes of ancestors be intended ; in 
Buch sense it occurs 80 times ; in one half of these, however, 
it is connected in the context with the word Kvvei. 

8. The term *' hundred Shins" occurs 14 times, and refers 
to the host of spirits, whether celestial or terrestrial, superior 
or inferior, who may be ranked among invisible beings, 
or who may be supposed to have any influence in protecting; 
their votaries. 

9. We have the emperor called the lord of the Shins 9 times, 
and the same title is applied to the peo{)lt.' five times. In tlie 
former cases it means, either that he presides over the sacrifi- 
ces offered to the spirits, or that he, being the Son of Heaven, 
has a sort of authoriiy over the various genii presiding over 
hills and rivers, land and grain, wind and rain, appointing 
them to their offices, and dismissing them from their posts, 
in case of ai.y supposed neglect In tfie latter instances, the 
expression alludes to the wishes and inclinations of the peo- 
ple, which fix certain indiviJ^uais on the throne, and of course 
influence the spints in their choice, as to what persons they 
should protect and d^jfend. 

li). The w Old Shin is twice applied to the presiding spirits 
of the four seasons. 

11. We have eleven instances of the application of the word 
Shin, to the spirits presiding over land and grain, who are 
supposed to have a certain influence in protecting the reign- 
ing fa-»nly of each state ; and are therefore to be fought for 
and maintained, as the Romans were accustomed to fight 
pro aris et focis. 

12. The application of the word Shin to the manes of ances- 
tors, occurs 27 times ; this idea is more properly expressed by 
the word Kwei. because the manes of the departed are sup- 
posed to be contracted and shrivelled Uj) after their decease ; 
yet because by the sacrifices offered to them they are drawn 
forth and expanded, the term Shin is not unfrequently appli- 
ed to them. Eight instances occur of the word Shin being 
applied to the manes of sages or departed worthies, who are 
worshipped by their disciples. In one case, the word honour- 
able is prefixed to Shin, when it is applied to the manes of 
deceased officers. 

: 13. In 33 instances^ we fiiyd the word* Shin applied to the 


finer pari of the human soul, which expands find ascends at 
death, and which may be collected and brought to a focus by 
the services of successors, as the Kwei is made to expaud by 
a similar means. 

14. Ir) one instance, the word Shin must h<', rendered gliost; 
in four insiances, it is synonymous with fairies and elves, 
and in four more must be translated misclnevous demons ; 
i»i all which cases, we see that Shin is used in the con- 
crete Sense, and when thus used denotes spirits and not 
godfl . 

15. In two instances, we find the word Shin coupled with 
* resemblance,' and used with reference to the representative 
of the dead, on occasions of sacrificingr to ancestors ; Ihe 
word Shin, is four timis coupled with * surety,' to convey the 
same idea. In on?, instance, in the work of a later writer, we 
find fhe word Shin applied to the images in the temples. 

16. Wo have also a whole class of passages, in which Shin 
must be (aken adjectively ; in 29 of which it has been trans- 
lated inscrutable ; in 25 we have rendered it mysterious ; in 
seven inscrutably intelligent ; in two spiritual ; in two others 
wonderfully spontaneous : and in two more invisibly ejffica- 
cious. In all these cases, we have been led so to translate 
the word, in consequence of the signification attacbedto it in 
the Chinese Comnieniaries : which have been uniform in 
explainink( it by such ternip as ^ meaou, wonderful, or mys- 
terious ; ^ "Rp jpij inscrutable, or not to be fathomed ; ^ 

fijj y;W impeneirable, or not to be known : with xJT j ^flu 
mysterious and not to be traced. Agreeing in this respect 
with the original meaning of the word, as indicative of some- 
thing spiritual, and beyond the reach of mortal vision. 

17. In one instance, a Oijincse writer talks about a certain 
oneness as connected with the Shins, because the word is 
used with reference to the one breath of nature, which is 
sometimes represented as sinde, resembling in some respects 
the anima jnundi of western writers. 

18. On one occasion, a later writer puts the hypothesis, 
that if the Supreme Ruler be a Shin, he would be able to de- 
tect hypocritical performances, in which casf^. the meaning to 
be attached to the word, is probably that of a spiritual and 
intelligent bemsr. Among the comments on the Book of 
Odes, which will after *i'ards be referred to, the Supreme Ru- 
ler is called the spirit of Heaven, and in the Commentary on 
the Le-ke, it is said, That were we to collect ihe spirits of 
Heaven into one, and speak of them we should call such con- 
centration of spiritual intelligences the Supreme Ruler. 

19. The word Shin is sometimes used as a verbj and means 


*n one instance, to honour as a Shm, and in another, to bring 
into contact with invisible beings. 

20. The word Shin is used by the writers of epitaphs in 
the sense of unnameable, when any ruler has be«n so good or 
so bad, as that no term can be found sufficient to describe him. 

21. It is also used as a surname, and, with a variation of 
tone, as a part of the name of a spirit of the deep. 

The above are all the instances in ^hich Shin has been 
met with as used alone. In connection with other terms, we 
meet with the following : 

22. Shln-ming occurs fifteen times^ as referring to invisible 
and intelligent beings. 

23. Shin-nimg is applied nine times to the manes of 

24. Shln-mlng is five times u«ed as an adjective, meaning 
inscrutable and intelligent. 

25. Shin-ming is used twice as a verb, implying to rendet 
inscrutable. In all which cases the compound term is simi^ 
lar to the simple word Shin as already referred to in articles 
7, 12, and 16. 

The word Shin is, however, mdst frequently found in con- 
nection with Kwei, which it is made to follow ; this arrange- 
ment seems to have rather an allusion to the dual sys- 
tem of the universe, invented by the Chinese, than to any 
supposed inferiority of the Shin to the Kwei. Thus the 
Kwei, being supposed to belong to the female principle of na- 
ture, which is characterized by stillness, is put before the 
Shin, which belongs to the male principle of nature, and is 

descriptive of activity ; in the same manner as the ^ yin 

is put before the ^ yang, the !f\^ pin "before the i^^ mow, 

and the [|^ tsze before the ^p heung, in each of which cases 
the feminine precedes the masculine gender. We may here 
remark, also, that in the Confucian classics, the Kwei is 
never spoken of disparagingly, but always with as much 
honour as is put upon the Shin ; and it is only later writers 
that have applied the word Kwei to ghosts and demons, 
which wti find to be the case in some of them with the word 
Shin. Having premised these observations, we shall give 
the instances in which Kwei and Shin occiu- together in 
the preceding pages. 

2b. Kwei Shin occur as the expanders and contraoters of 
nature 76 times in the quotations already made, and in each 
case, the meaning attached to the words is the same as 
that applied to art. 1, of the present arrangement. 

27. The words Kwei Shin apply to invisible beings in ge- 
neral 145 times in the preceding pages. By a reference to 


the places where the words occur, we shall find that the 
Cl)inese do not hy any means attach a definite meaninsf to 
the Kwei Shhis, but consider them as embracing most of 
the ideas which we have seen may be applied to the Shms ; 
thus they take the Kwei Shins to mean collectively, both th© 
expanders and contracters of nature ; the invisible beings who 
are the objects of worship, and are supposed to protect or 
injure, to reward or punish mankind ; together with the 
manes of departed persons, and the genii of hills and rivers, 
all in one ; we have endeavoured to separate them in this ar- 
rangement, where the contest warrants it; but geneially the 
ideas to be attached to the term are rather of the mixed kind. 
This class is similar to No. 7. 

28. The words Kwei Shtn are in 18 instances, applied to 
the genii of hills and rivers, who are supposed to control 
winds and rain, and are consequently applied to both by 
mariners and husbandmen in their distress. This use of the 
words is similar to No. 5 in the present arrangement. 

29. The words Kwei Shin are applied 52 times to the 
manes of ancestors, as in No. 12. 

. ,30. The same term is attached 18 times to the spiritual 
constitution of man, principally after death ;as well ae to the 
various parts of the human body, whilst men are alive, as in 
No. 13. 

31. The words Kwei Shin are used 7 times with reference 
to those genii tha,t are supposed to preside over prognostica- 

32. Kwei Shin is applied once to the genius presiding 
over blight and mildew. 

33. The Kwei Shins are twice considered as but of secon- 
dary importance, and in seven instances are diiected to be 
kept at a distance. 

34. The word Kwei Shin is seven times applied to gliosts 
and elves. ' -: 

35. The word Kwei Shin is twice used with reference to 
images in the t.emples, but those instances occur only in sub- 
sequent writers. 

In no instance, however, among the writers of the school 
of Confucius, do we find the word Shin applied to the Su- 
preme God, and never so used by them as to make it necessa- 
ry for us to translate it by God^ in giving the sense of 
the classics^ according to the commentatoris. The main idea 
is that of the expanders and contracters of nature, who, under 
the authority and direction of a higher power, attend to the 
bringing forth and nourishing of men and things, the rising 
and settirig of heavenly bodies, the blowing of winds, the fall- 
ing of rainS; tlie rolling of thunder, and the flashing of liglit- 


ning ; while tliey .are supposed to be influenced by sacrificed, 
nnd to afford protection to nations and individuals, but al- 
ways subject to the will of a superior, and never are they re- 
presented as actings independently and supremely, uncontrol- 
lably and ultimately. They are not, therefore, according to 
the showing of the Chiness, gods, but subordinate spirits, 
agents, genii, and manes. 

In the 3^ ^ ^ TaSu tih king, ascribed to Laou-tsze, 
the founder of the Sect of TaSu, we have a few refereuGes 
to the Shins, as follows : 

In the 5th chapter we read, 

" To cultivate inanity, up to the point of j[(^ pure spiritu- 
ality, until a man attains immortality, is called the perfection 
of productiveness." 

The commeutator says, when inanity is cultivated so as to reach 
vacuity, there is still something of form remaining ; but when inani* 
ty is cultivated up to the point of pure spirituality, then there is 
vacuity without form. Vacuity without form, has no life in iA, how 
then can it be capable of death ? In speaking of cultivating inanity 
80 as to attain spirituality, reference is made to the virtue of the in- 
dividual. In speaking of the perfection of productiveness, reference is 
made to his work and merit. The productive power brings forth 
the myriad of tilings ; and it is called perfect productiveness, because 
though we iee the things produced, we do not see how they are 

Another commentator says. Inanity means emptiness, when perfect 

emptiness of thought is attained, the )j|^ feeling of pure spirituality is 
maintained within. Hence the expression empty spirituality. Emp- 
tiness is the place of the centre of the mind: and that which main- 
tains it is the spirituality. Immortality refers to the original energy 
always surviving and never dying. The word productiveness, or mo- 
ther, sets forth the tenderness and pliability of the original energies ; to 
which is a^dijed the word perfect, in order to express admiration of it. 
Perfect productiveness is the mother of the myriad of things. The 

being: whom Chwang-tsze denominates the ^fij[ — *, Perfect One, may 
here psriiaps be called the spiritual Precious One, who is the Lord of 
the later heavens. 

The next sentence run thus : 

" The door, or opening out, of perfect productivenesSj may 
be called the root of heaven and earth." 

Upon which the commentator remarks, The door, or opening out, 
of perfect productiveness, means that the myriad of things springs from 
hence, and that heaven and earth are produced from this also. 

Another commentator says. The door is the medium of egress ; 
and the root is that from wliich any thing springs. Emptiness and 
nothiigness, with the spontaneousness of action, is that from which 
heaven and earth were produced ; hence it is called the root of heaven 
and- earth. The root of heaven and earth, is the beginning of heaven 


and earth. That which Ohivang-tsze talks about eternal nonentitr^ 
jp»y perhaps here be deupminafced the prime beginning, or the ances-r 
lof of the fbrnjer heaven^. 

J, The abpve two sentences have cost the translator mu(>h trou - 
ble in decyphering, and many Chinese students at first sight 
would perhaps disagree with the view above given of them : 
but we must remember that the Taou sect uses words in an 
entirely different acceptation from the other religionists ; and 
the patient enquirer, by consulting the Imperial Dictionary 
under the different words, will see that the above is almost the 
only construction that can be put upon the terms used here. 
The idea seems to be, that when the ascetic can so attenu- 
ate his body, and empty his mind, that he becomes extreme- 
ly vacuous, and approaches to purc^ spirituidity, he may then 
be considered as capable of producing the myriad of things ; 
ibecause nature itself springs from this extreme vacuity, and 
emptiness is the root of all things. Let not the reader be 
startled at th: idea of the ascetic being cohsidered the pro- 
ducer o! nature, for it is a Very common thing with the Chi- 
nese tp elevate their sages to an equality with, and in some 
instances to a superiority over, heaven and earth. With 
regard to the word Shin in tiiis sentence we need only re-, 
mark, that it means nothing more than the state of pure spirit: 
tuality, which is the ?^sult of the emptinesg to which the 
ascetic may attain, by a due subjection of his animal to his 
spiritual powers. 

" When a man can bring into subj action the sensitive ^nd 
rational soul, and hold fast the oneness (of his spiritual na- 
tvjrci,) he may perhaps be able to maintain an inseparable uni- 
on between them." 

On this the commentator remarks, That in which the pj^ sensitive 

Poul differs from the ^^ rational is, that the former is J^ matter, 

and the latter JJ^ spirit. The Book of Diagrams says, " That the ani- 
mal fluids and vital breath unite to constitute living things, but vhen 
the finer part of the animal soul begins to wander, then a change 
ensues ; from this we may know the form and manner of the Kwe* 

Shins." The sensitive soul consists of ^gjf matter, therefore it is 

niixed and disposed to settle ; the rational soul is JR^ spirit, therefore 
it is single and capable of change. Speaking of the sensitive seyily 

reference is made to its settling down. For J5 the rule ctf right iS' 
everywhere present ; in man it constitutes his perfect nature, and the 

most mysterious part of his nature is its J]^ spirituality; speaking 
of its pure and unadulterated character, it is called single ; speaking 
of its being collected and not scattered, it is called solid, but the point 

to which both these revert is the Ja ^^^^ ^^ ^'^S^^ t ^^hile each is spor. 


19 J 

^en of acc€arding to the qualities which it really possesses. The Wf j$f ^ 

have their virtuous nature ftxed, and th?ir \ffp epiritijality congealed, 
and therefore are not njoved by external thin^ ; thus although they 
temporarily lodge in their sensitive pouI, yet their sensitive soul in- 
variably complies with whatever the ^b spirit desires, thus the spirit 

briBg? into Bubjepti^n the sensitive soul. Men in general allow exter- 

nal things to bring their virtuous nature into bondage, while their ffij^ 
spirits are beclouded, and badly regulated ; thus their spirits ai^ 
subservient to their Hensitive souls ; their ears and eyes are enslaved by 
sound and colour, their noses and mouths are subject to the influentie '; 
of taste and smell, so that their spirits follow that which the sensf^^ 
tive soul desires, and the sensitive soul brings their spirits irito^' 
su.bjcQtion. On this account, men are taught to hold fast their spiri- 
tu;»,l nature, and to bring into subjection their sensitive so«il, causing 
them both to be inseparably united, which is the most important 
thing that the sages attend to in the cultivation of personal virtue.^ 
With regard to the perfect men of former times, they struck deep their 
roots, and strengthened their stems, while they wttained to prolonged 
exifltence a?id n^atured experience, and in so doiiig the principle of 
right which they possessed sprang up. 

Another commentator gives the following meaning to the passage 
just cited ; "(The spirit) is superadded to the fortified residence of 
the sensitive soul, and while these embrace and hold fast t!ie principle 

of unity, they may perhaps be able to avoid sepjuration." ^)J Tsai 
(rendered by the preqeding comnjcntator hrin^ into suhjection) is 
explained by this one to me?in superadd. The ajiimj^l soul is ^ 
camp, like tb^ encampment of an army : the rational soul is th^ 
garrison, Jike a garrison of soldiers. A camp is intended for the re-i 

sidence of troops. Thus the ifl^ spirit is added to the sensitive soulj 
and the sensitive soul embraces the spirit ; these two l>eing inti- 
mately connected without separation, may, like the sun and moon, 
attain to perpetual preservation through endless ages. In this way 
the men who rise above the world also are able to preserve their 9utr 
ward forms entire. 

The writer goes on to say, 

" Wheu men bestow undivided attention on (the subjection 

of) their ^^ boisterous energies, so as to render them S 
supple and yielding, they may perhaps be able to imitate 
little children." 

The commentjitpr says, When the )f|^ spirit ip badly regulated, 
then the energies become confused. Those who possess more visror- 
ous energies are fond of contention, while those who possess weaker 
energies, are disj/osed to cherish fear, without either of them bein^ 

aware of it. When the fl^ spirit is well regulated, however, the 
energies do not act disorderly, while joy andansi^er are both display edv 
according to their various requirements ; this is what is called, bestow- 
ing undividftcl Attention upon (the fubjection of) ei?fi*§ en?rgies, 



Jjip Spirituality is the extreme point of emptiness ; the J^ energiei 
are placed at the commencement of solidity. The essence of empti- 
ness is ^^ flexibility, the essence of solidity is pjlj hardness. To 
keep unadulterated one's virtuous nature, and to reduce to notliing 
one's boisterous energies, is called the extreme of flexibility. Children 
do not know the diflerence between love and hatred, thus their vir- 
tuous nature is preserved entire ; their virtuous nature being pre- 
served entire, their energies are insignificant ; while their energies 
are insignificant, th3ir bodies are also supple ; thus to bend one's sole 
attention to (the subjection of) our boisterous energies, until they 
become supple and yielding, like those of little children, constitutes 
the height of human attainment.. 

Another commentator says, To bestow one's whole attention on 
the (subjection) of our internal energies, and smoke and soak the 
flesh and booes, until we render them extremely soft and brittle, like 
those of an infant in its mother's womb, this is the way in which men 
who rise above the world are able to preserve their energies. 

It is evident that, in the above extracts, the writer uses the word 

Iji^ Shin in the sense of human spirit, as distinct from the 0)2, sensi- 
tive, and 3^ rational soul. The attentive reader will perceive that 
we have tendered these two latter terms somewhat differently from 
what we translated them in giving extracts from the classical wri- 
ting!^ of the sect of the learned ; but we have so done, because we 
conceive, that the adherents of Taou hold different views on the sub- 
ject from the followers of Confucius. It will be seen also, that we 
have given a different term for Shin, as occarring in this book, from 
^vhat was attached to it in those, because the Taouists do not 
annex the same idea to the word Shin as the Confucians do, but under- 
stand it of something more allied to pure spirit. 

In the 2nd section, and 25th chapter of the Taou-tih-king, 
we have the following observations : 

*' When a man wishes to grasp hold of the empire, and 
work it, I have seen instances of utter failure." 

The commentator says, That when a sage obtains porssession of the 
empire, he does not grasp it ; all thinirs revert to him, and he has 
no resource but simply to receive them. So when a sage governs the 
empire, he does not work it ; he simply follows the spontaneousness 
of things, and removes injuries out of the way. Should a man wish to 
grasp and work it up, he would not succeed. 

Another commentator says, To grasp hold of the empire means, 
to gratify the people of the empire, and make them revert to one's-self. 
To work it, means to labour at it. In order to obtam possession of 
the empire, a man's virtue must be perfect, and men would of them- 
selves revert to him ; but if a man att(m;its to work the thing, lie 
makes use of force and cunning to «ubdue the empire, how then can 
lie succeed iu getting the empire to revert to him. 
The next sentence is follows; 

*' The empire is an implement tihderthie' guidance of fj^ 


invisible beings, and it cannot be worked. The man who 
attempts to work it, spoils it ; and he who se^ks to retain it, 
by over caution, losei it." 

One commentator says, No business should be laboured at : (even 
in small communities) where only a hundred people are collected to- 
gether, if you do not comply with what they spontaneously prefer, 
but wrongly attempt to work yourself into the management of affairs, 
there will certainly be mutterings, how much more with respect to 
the empire ? In little matters, and in small gatherings, it may still 
be proper to employ vigor in getting hold of, and cunning in grasping, 

but the great affairs of the empire, are under the management of Ijl^ 
invisible beings ; so that if a man does not wait for the people to re- 
vert to him spontaneously, they will rebel ; and if he does not allow 
things in a great measure to manage themselves, there will be con- 
fusion. ] 
Another commentator says. The empire is an immense implement, 

under the management of jljip invisible beings, and must not be 
Bought possession of by the employment of force or cunning. Spoil- 
ing, means to f\ul of accomplishing ; the man who seeks to obtain (the 
empire) by force or cunning, wishes to accomplish the affair, and the 
affair on the contrary not being accomplished, means that he cannot 
get the empire to revert and submit to him : hence it is said, that the 
man who works it, spoil it. When a man has not yet got hold of 
the empire, and wishes to obtain it, he certainly must not work the 
matter, in order to get it ; so also, having obtained the empire, 
when a man wishes ito keep it, he also should avoid exerting his mind 
in order to retain iL - . 

There is nothing, either in the text or commentary of the 
above passage, to determine what invisible beings are meant 
by the Shins, who have the great affairs of the empire under 

their management. The expression jjjtp §^ shin k'he is, 
however, brought into use as a phrase to denote the regalia 
of the empire. See a subsequent part of this essay treating 
of the ff§' (Supreme) Ruler. 

In the 3rd section of the same work, we read, 
" Those which originally obtained (the principle of) uni- 
ty are the folhnVing; heaven, which obtained it, in order 
to become pure ; earth, which obtained it, in order to become 
still ; ffj^ spirituality, which obtained it, in order to become 
^ efficacious ; empty space, which obtained it, in order 
to become full ; the myriad of things, which obtained it> in 
order to spring forth into being; and virtuous rulers, who 
obtained it, in ord<*r to become the main stem of ihe em- 
pire. But that which carries out these to the utmost^ is this 
(one principle of) unity." 

The commeutator says; The principle of unity here referred io Ia 


3§[ Taou, or tlie fitnesa of thiiigd. The wny iri wtitli things kri c6n- 
SlltQl^a eii^tences, is by tbis Ti^a ; thfe people of the \^crta only lools: 
at thiiiga as they ar«, and forget the principle of filnesS by which thfey 
4re constituted ; they riierfely know that heaven ii pute, and that 
ekrth is still, and that spirituality is efficacious, and that space be- 
comes replete, and that all things ate reproduced, iild that virtuous 
rulers are the main it^tA of the empire ; but they do not know 
that the reason of theit- obtaining all these, is beeauke the fitness 
6f things is maintaifted among them. 

A ti other commentator says. The principle of unity, refers to the 
l/fctainment of mounting up into vacuity, (and becoming nothing.) 
It conveys the same idea with the words of a former sectioii, when 
speSakiBg of embracing the principle of unity ; or with another, which 
speaks of carrying out the principle of unity, or with a subsequent 

chapter, which speaks of J^ the fitness of things producing the 
principle of unity, all Which refer to the same thing. Chwang-tsz^ 

xcalls it the /C "** Great One, and sometimes merely speaks of it as 
the One. This is producied by the spontaneous effort of the Taou, or 
^tness of things. This unity carried out into use is empty and not 
full : it is subsequent (to the fitness of things) and not prior, it ib 
%oft and not bard, it is flexible and not boisterous. Former chapters 
/have frequently spoken of it, and this chapter exhibits all its luxuri- 
^ance. Obtaining it, means to obtain this principle of unity ; " in or- 
iier to" means that the qualities alluded to are thus attained. The 
■fo'Ur things mentioned, viz. heaven, earth, spirituality^ and emptiness, 
-have different names, but are really the Same. That which turns a- 
bout and rev^olves, while it is pure and cUar, is called heaven ; that 
'which congeals and Collects, while it iS peaceftil and still, is called 
^arth ; spirituality, is the my steriousness of the two principles of na- 
ture, which exist between heaven and earth ; Which Chang-tsze refers 
to, when he says, that the two principles are there present, (without 
our being able to ascertain which is which) hence its inscrutability ; 
in use this spirituality corresponds to those things which affect it, 
without being limited by sp^ce, hence its efficaciousness. Emptiness, 
is the empty space between heaven and earth ; which Chang-tsze 
calls pure vacuity, which is none other than the energy of nature ; 
. this energy fills up all space without exception, hence it is said to be 
. full. The main stem refers to the principal stem of a tree ; to be 
the main stem of the empire, is the eame as to call one the most im- 
portant among the people. It means that heaven's pureness, and 
' Earth's stillness, spirituality's efficaciousness, and space's replenish- 
ing, together with the perpetual reproduction of the myriad of things 
without end, and the establishment of kings and rulers over the 
whole empire, to be chief among the people,— that the way in which 
all this is effected, is from obtaining this one principle ot Unity. 

. . We bave rendered f|^ Shin in the above passage, by the 
word spirituality, because it is put ia connection with empty 

J space, and according to the ideas of the TaOuists, ^he process 
is from mere inanity to pure spifitualily, in order to the at- 


Uiament of excellence. 

The next sentence is as follows : 

" Were not heaven to obtain this principle of unity, in or- 
disr to beeome pure, it might be rent asunder ; w^eie not earth 
t6 obtain it, in order to become still, it might be agitated ; 
tvere not spirituality to obtain it, in order to become efficaci- 
ous, it might be exhausted ; were not space to obtain it, in 
order to De<jome replete, it might Cease lo exist ; were not 
the myriad of things to obtain it, in order to be perpetually 
reproduced, they might soon be exterminated ; and were vir- 
tuous rulers not to obtain it in order to become the main 
stem of the empire, thair nobility and exalted rank might 
soon become contracted." 

The commentator «ays, That were heaven not to obtain this prin- 
ciple of unity, it would not suddenly rend aauuder ; and were earth 
not to obtain it, it might not be directly ag'itated ; spirituality, with* 
out it, might not forthwith become exhausted ; space, without it, 
might not instantly cease to exist ; the myriad of things, without it, 
might not be soon exterminated ; and virtuous rulers, without it, might 
not be hastily contracted ; but yet the utter extinction of this piinci- 
pie of unity, would certainly result in the effects detailed. 

Another commentator says. Not to obtain it, in order to do so and 
fio, means, that without this virtue, the results mentioned would foU 
low. To r«nd asunder^ means to separate and divide ; to be agitated^ 
adeans to be moved ; to be exhausted, refers to a want of power to 
correspond and become efficacious, when influenced by any : to cease 
to exist, implies an inability to become replete and full ; to be exter- 
minated, means to become extinct without being reproduced ; to be 
contracted, meane to be overthrown and lose the empire. 

Here it is evident, that the word Shin, must be rendered as in the 
preceding sentencfc. 
In the ith section of the same book, we read, 
*' When the got)d man superintends the empire according 
to Taou, or the principle of right, the ^ Kweis, (or ener- 
gies of nature) will not |^ become Shins (or sprites and de- 
mons) ; it is not that the Kweis will not become ShinB 
(sprites,) so much as that the Shins (sprites) will not injure 
men ; it is not that the Shins (sprites) will not injure men, 
so much as (hat the wise man in power will not injure them." 
The Commentator says. That the sages vrithout effort cause every 
man peacefully to comply with the spontaneous dictates of -natujfe ; 
when there is no need of seeking anything abroad, and no occasion to 
harbour dread at home, then exl^rnal things will nol be able to make 
any encroachment, and the Kweis (or energies of nature) would not 
be able to act as Shins, (sprhes or demons.) This is not so mwdh 
that the Kweis (or energies of nature) would not be able to apt as 
Shins (sprites,) as that jWere they to act as Shins (sprites,) they 
'\Vtiu:ld not irtjiTre«en ; aud'not ^o much that the Shins (spritei) 


would not injure men, as that the wise man in power would not in« 
jure men, and therefore, the Kweis (energies of nature) can effect no- 
thing ag-a'nst them. 

Another commentator says. The Kweis here refer to the invisible 
e'lerj^ies of nature, and the Shins to sprites or demons. The ener- 
gies of men are one and the same with the energies of nature. When 
a ruler possessing the right way, can superintend the empire accord- 
ing to the rule of right, he is unconcerned and still, and does not 
trouble and annoy the p«?ople ; in consequence of this,* the spirit of 
the people is harmonious and replete, while heaven and earth are 
•mutually affected and respond, and thus the energies of nature 
are not perverse and refractory ; thus the Kweis cannot become 
sprites, nor get up mischiefs. The energies of nature not be- 
coming sprites, does not so much mean that they will not become 
sprites, as that although they become sprites, they will not become 
mischievous sprites to injure people. The reason why they will not 
injure men, is not so much that they are naturally indisposed to in- 
jure men, as because the wise man in power can cause the spirit of 
the people to be harmonious, and thus not injure the energies of na- 
ture ; the energies of nature will also become harmonious, and will 
not inflict injuries on men. The Kweis and the Shins both refer to 
the energies of nature ; the names arc two, but the things are one 
and the same. 

It is evident, that in the above passage, the Shins must be under- 
stood in the light of mischievous demons, who though disposed to in- 
jure men, are not capable of doing it, so long as the wise man in 
power regulates things properly, and prevents them from becoming 

The above are the only instancies in which the Taou-tih- 
king refers to the subject of the Kwei Shins. In another 
classic ascribed to this sect, we have more frequent referen- 
ces to the case in hand, some of which we shall here detail. 

. The work is entitled. ^ ^ ^y r^ the wonderful classic of 
the three Rulejs, viz. those pr^-iiding over heaven, earth, and 
'The beginning of the work is taken up with a number of 

Jj^ jIj spiritual charms, or prayers, for cleansing the Heart, 
nioruh, body, ifcc. in which we Have the word Sh^n occurring 
as comiected with the various pafts of the human body, such 

as the n jjil^Shin of the mouth, ^ flljj the Shin of the 
tongue, @ 1^ the Shin of the teeth, P^ jjjl^ the Shin of the 
throat, (fcc where it is evident, that the word Shin must be 
taken as referring to the spirits*^a-esiding over the said mem- 
bers. We have also the expressions ^j^ jjj^ the spirit of the 
heart, and ^ Ipl^ the spirit of the thoughts, or the mind ; 
and we ha,ve a refer«nce to^^ "j]^ tiie nourishing of the api- 


rit, or the cultivation of the mind. We read also of the iff^ 

■P king of the Shins, as we do of the ^ f£ chief of the de- 
vils. The expressions applied to the Deity, however, are: 

such as ^ _fl Infinite Supreme, ^ ^ the Honoured of 

Heaven, J^ ^ the First Beginning, ^ y^ the Great Origin.' 

^1. jlC^ ^^'® Infinitely-perfect One, with ♦jB* ^he Ruler, 
whicli is put in many places for God. But we will give 
some extracts. The first is entitled a spiritual prayer re- 
garding the Golden Liiiht. . 

" O Thou perfectly-honoured One of heaven and earth, the 
root and origin of a myriad energies, the great manager of 

boundless kulpas, do thou enlighten my jjl^ ^ spiritual 
perceptions. Within and without the three worlds, the 

^ Logos or divine Taou, is alone honourable, embodying 
in himself a golden light, may he overspread and illumine 
my person ; he whom we cannot see with the eye, nor hear 
with the ear, who embraces and incloses heaven and earth, 
may he nourish and support the multitude of living beings." 
The writer then " adds, that he who receives and uses the 
above prayer will have in himself light and glory, while the 
three worlds wait around him; the J[ i^ five rulers will 
stand before him, the ^ )f(l^ ten thousands Shhis pay their 
court to him, while the thunders and lightnmgs will minister 
unto him ; the devils and monsters will quail in his presence, 
and the elves and sprites vanish from his sight ; holding in his 

own hands the thunderbolts, the ^ |^ spirit of thunder will 
hide his name before him : his internal wisdom will be tho- 
roughly intelligent, and his five eneriries mount aloft ,; when 
the golden light is thus suddenly exhibited,, it will cover over 
and protect the truly good man," 

In th.? above passage, Shin seems to bs used in three dif-^ 
ferent senses ; in the first instance, ^' spiritual perception," 
doubtless means the intelligent man's own mind ; in th'5 
second, the myriad of Shins are said to pay their court to 
him who uses this charm ; and in the third instance, the ^ 
ifj^Shin presiding over tiiunder, is said to hide his diminish- 
ed head in the presence of the devoLee. Thus they are far 
inferior to the person who usrsthis charm, who has obtained 
the golden light from tlie Great Taou. 

In a sentence further on, we have the souls of the dead clas- 
sed with the Kwei Shins; in another, the Shins are associa- 
ted with images, which the wicked are said to d.3spise ; and 
on another page, we meet with the word if ^|^ ^ »oul and 


anfmal spirits, together with U^ j^ the genii who arc: 
Boppcficd to inhabit the hills aad forests ; all referring ^^p mi^ 
nor aad inferior objects and being?. I ' J]. ~ 

Towards the close of the book yye naect with the following 
sentence : , 

« The honpiTred of Heaven spake to all the people under 
heaven, with those who navigated the rivers and streams, 
lakes and seas, and were afraid of the boisterous wind^ 
and rnnrir)^ waves, that if they would but recite this das^ 
sic, and revert to the rulers of heaven, earth, and sea, then 
the multitude of the holy ones in the watery palaces would 
cause the winds to be gentle and the waves ftill, their voyqi^ 
gres to be secure, their vessels stout, and their cordage strong, 
while all tiieir wishes would be gratified ; at the same time 

all the Shins would protect, and th* thousand )[($ genii 
CQnftx happiness. " 

We now turn to the books of Buddha, ^mong which the ^ 
Wi 15 Kin kang king stands prominent, but in this, though 
we find frequent mention made of the Buddh^s, and the Poo- 
sats, we do not meet with one word about the Sh^ns. 

In the ^ 5S! ^B ^^^"? ^3-0" ^^, which appears to be « 
Buddhistic classic, we meet with the following ientence : 

** The religion (of Buddha) having reached the )fi$ jj[\ spi- 
ritual region, its report spread towards the l^nd of China." 

The comnjentator says, that the spiritual region refers to ^5 Q. 
Cfhin tan or the part of India where Buddhism took its rise. 

Further on we read, 

^* (Buddha) having formed his law, published it in th« 
Isrorld, and his descending §J spirit was manifested as he 
burst from his mother^ side; his eyebrows were arched, like 
the bow of ^\^ ^ heaven's ruler, and his eyes were round, 
like the leaf of the green lotus ; the genii and the teacher? 
shed tears at seeing him, and the 3^ )0 celestial Sh»n« 
ptrove who should be foremost to greet him on his arrival." 

The celestial Shins spoken of in this passage, are evidently the at- 
tendant spirits, who >»aited on Buddha, when he was born into ihe 

In another section of the same book, we read, 

"Upon this, the terrestrial Shmii of tha prison hous^ jum- 
ped for joy, and bore testimony to him, while the ^ '^ 
celestial youths of empty space made a somersault and re- 
ported the matter." 

The commentator rntiroateji that the terrwtrial Shins, and the celes- 
lift! |»uth wc antitijHi^l,,* n^ refer to th^ genii of KeaTen an4 


■earth, who were frantic for joy when lUey listened t^ the lairg Tof 

In the '^ S ^ § f*^ P^o" peabu mtih, which appears 
to be a record of the various Buddhistic classics, and of th«ir 
translations into Chinese, vol. l«t, section 1st, we have 

a reference to the jfj^ )^ abode of the Shins, which appears 

to be contrasted with the Jv 5C heaven of hun>fin beings; j .^ 
from which we infer, that the former refers to the Residence 
of the genii, and the latter to the place of happiness appoint^" 
ed for man. In section 3rd, we have the expression jp^ 5^ 
spiritual perception, which occurs so frequently in the books 
of Taou, and refers doubtless to the intelligence of the human 
mind, when brought under tlie influence of religion. la 
section 11th, we meet with the phrase ^^^ ^ fCih shin 
leih, which appears to mean the spiritual energies of Bud- 
dha, supposed to be obtained by his votaries, so as enable 
them to perform charitable actions aright. This phrase 
occurs again in section 2 1st. In the 16th section^ we are 
told, that " Buddha, having perfected virtue in himself, re- 
turned to the city of Kea-pe-lo, in prder to convert his royal 
father ; at that time the people oif the country came out to meet 
Buddha, while the eight classes of celestial dragons surround- 
ed, and paid obeisance to him ; Buddha then displayed his 
W ilS s^piritual perception, and explained his laws, &c. 
In the 22nd section, we read of the j^ fl^ ^ gl*^at spiritual 
chawge, which the commentator says refers to Buddha's ex- 
plaining his laws, and enforcing bi^ instructions, aided by his 

J[^ i^ spiritual perception ; thus he was enabled to convert 
tJie emperor of the S hang dynasty, and cause him to receive 
his religion. On the 32nd page, we have an account of a fear* 
less Poo.sat, who never rose on hearing a salutation, and 
never made enquiries nor paid compliments ; when the king 
enquired the reasons of this singular conduct, he said, " The 
sacred king who guides the revolutions of the empire, does 
not go to meet an inferior king ; the ^ ^ god Shih-kea 
does not go to meet the rest of the honoured of heaven ; the 

j^ J§ fll^ Shin of the great d^ep does not pay compliment 
to the Shins of rivers and ponds ; the glorious Shin of the 
sun and moon, does not bow to a glow-worm." In which 
sentence we perceive a marked distinction between the wprd 
^ ruler, or as it must be rendered god, as applied to Sakt/u 
muna, or Buddha, and the title Shin, which in this connec- 
tion can only mean the spirits 0/ genii presiding ov^rj ^e 
objects referred to. 



In the 2d vol. and the 142d section, we have Buddha 
commanding the celestial dragons, and the great and mighty 
Kwei Shins, to protect the country and its inhabitants : and 
a little further on we read of all the dragons and Shins, with 
the Kwei Shins who are the watchmen of the night, being 
severally placed at their allotted posts, to ward off danger and 
defend th« good ; in which we see that they hold something 
of the rank of angels with us. On another page, we read Of 
great jfjlf ^ spiritual changes or transformations, referring 
to the wonders wrought by Buddha, also to the J|i^ jj 
spiritual enegies of all the Buddhas. 

In the the 3rd vo).. we read that when Buddha proclaims 

his laws, the 5C ^ celestial kings, and the JSJ^ jfl^ terres- 
trial Shins defend them, while the celestial Shins and houris 
recite their prayers and present their supplications ; evidently 
representing the Shins as doing homage to the laws of Bud- 
dha and intreating his favour. 

In the 6th vol. we are told, that all the Shins and celes- 
tial persons assemble to pay their respects to Buddha : and 
towards the close of the volume the votaries of Buddha are 

promised that their f^ |$ animal spirits shall be reproduced 
in heaven above, and their ij^ jjtp souls ascend to heaven and 
enjoy boundless felicity- 

In the 7th vol. those who cut down trees are threatened 
with death by the ?|M jTlft Shfns or genii of the trees. 

In the 9th vol. we have a reference to the )[j$ ^L mysterious 
wonders wrought by the Buddhist priests, which they are said 
to have performed at different intervals, and which it is thought 
they could still effect, were they sufficiently devoted to Bud- 
dha ; on which account, they are sometimes called jjj^ fg^ mys- 
terious priests. 

In the same volume, we are told, that when men recite the 
true names of the 108 Poo-sats of the Buddhist religion, then 
felicities will be accomplished, and long life attained, all the 
celestial dragons and Kwei Shins will treat them with rever- 
ence, and all the evils arising from wild beasts, manacles, and 
misfortunes will be spontaneously dispersed. Further on we 
read, that when the school of the priests and celestial kings 
discourse on Buddha, all the Kwei Shins who are unbelievers 
in his doctrines, and who are disposed to disturb the priests 
and nuns of the woods and wilderness, will on the repetition 
of these words be prevented from injuring them. Again we 
find, that the same doctrines are calcutated to drive away and 
expel all wicked devils, and wicked Kwei Shins, and to ba- 
nish to a distance all calamities and pestilences. 


On a review of the instances in wliich the word Shin 
occurs in the Classical Books of Taou and Buddha, we find 
that it is used in the following acceptations : 

1. In the sense of spiritual beings, having control over the 
destines of the empire, three times. 

2. In the sense of spiritual beings of a subordinate char- 
acter, who wait on Buddha, and pay adoration to him, four 

3. In the sense of genii, five times. 

4. In the sense of sprites and demons, fifteen times. 

5. In the sense of spirits presiding over the sun and moon, 
once ; do. over the ocean, once ; do. over thunder, once; do. 
over trees, once ; do. over various parts of the body, and 
mind, six times. 

6. In the senae of celestial Shins, as coupled with houris, 
once; in the sense of terrestrial Shhis, once. 

7. Shins as coupled with Kweis, six times ; sometimes 
referring to the watchmen of the night; sometimes coupled 
withdragonsjsopietimes called wicked, and unbelievers in 

8. Shin is used as referring to thespirit of man, ten times ; 
once as referring to the souls of the dead ; twice to the ani- 
mal spirits. 

9. In the sense of pure spirituality, as the result of extreme 
emptiness or vacuity, eleven times. This is the favourite 
idea of the Taouists, and what they aim at by the subjection 
of their; boisterous energies, in order to attain to nothingness, 
which is perfection. . .[ 

10. In the sense of spiritual, eleren times, sometimes con- 
nected with perceptions, and sometimes with wonders and 
priests, in the sense of mysterious. 

Thus in the all the classics of the three sects, we do not 
meet once with the word Shin, as positively and necessarily 
meaning God, much less the Supreme Being ; and in a vast 
majority of instances meaning spirit, genii, or some subordi- 
nate being. In later ages, it may have been connected with 
idols, and by the ignorant multitude may be thought to 
mean something divine, but it is by no means a word that 
Christian writers could use with reference to the Divine Be- 
ing, nor as the generic term for God. The expression ^ [[jl^ 
worshipping the Shins, always means paying adoration to 
an inferior order of spiritual beings, and should never be us- 
ed by Protestant, as it now never is by Catholic, writers for 
worshipping God. The frequent employment by classical 
\yriter3 of the word Shin in the sense of spirit, would sanc- 
tion its adoption by us, with the addition of holy, for the Spi- 


rit of God, but not as Equivalent to the word God in generaL 
We have not meet in the Buddhistic classics with tlie phrase 
i$ ^ Grod Buddha, (it may occur in common conversation, 
but we have not seen it in their classics) ; while we have fre- 
quently met with the expression ^ ^ God Sakya muna ; 
from which we infer that ^ Te, rather than j^ Shin, is 
by them considered the generic name for God. 

We have thus gone through the classical books of the three 
religions of China, in order to ascertain the real meaning of 
the word Shin ; it is time now to examine what idea the same 
authorities give us of the term ^ fj^ Supreme Ruler. 

In the first volume of the Four Books, called ^f^^ Ta- 
hoQ, on the 11th page, we have the following quotation^: 

'• The Ode says, Until the (sovereign of the) Yin dynasty 
had lost (his influence over) the multitude, he could be con- 
sidered as corresponding to the Supreme Ruler j (our Chow 
dynasty) should now take warning from Yin, because the 
sublime decree (of Heaven, in favour of one dynasty) is not 
easily preserved : which means, that when a sovereign ob- 
tains (an influence over) the multitude, he can keep his coun- 
try, but when he loses the multitude, he loses his country," 

The comnientator says, Tnat corresponding with the Supreme Ru- 
ler means, that the sovereign of Yin was chief over the whole empire, 
atid therefore answered to the Supreme Ruler, (who is chief over all 
the universe.) 

The paraphrase is as follows : Before the ruler of the Yin dynasty 
had lost the multitude, he was the chief over all the empire, and 
co«ld correspond (on earth) to the Supreme Ruler (in heaven ;) but 
when Yin lost the multitude, the decree of Heaven, formerly made in 
his favour, departed from him ; for the decree appointing any one to be 
emperor rests with Heaven, and the inclination of Heaven follows that 
of the people ; when a monarch, therefore, obtains the hearts of the 
people, the Supreme Ruler favours him, and begets the throi.e ; but 
■when he loses the hearts of the people, the Supreme Ruler is angry 
with him, and he loses the throne. 

In the above passage, the monarch who reigns over the 
whole empire is said to correspond to the Supreme Ruler, 
who reigns over the whole world ; the main idea to be attach- 
ed to the Supreme Ruler, in this connection, therefore, is that 
of universal dominion ; while the paraphrast assigns to him 
the disposal of human events, and particularly the thrones of 
princes. ■^^-^ ^■-;' 

In the fp ]5^ Chung-yung, or Happy Medium, 14th page, 
we read, 

" The ceremonies of the JfjJ celestial and ^ terrestrial 
sacrifices are those by which men serve the Supreme Ruler ; 


the ceremonies of the ancestorial temple are those by winch 
men sacrifice to their progenitors ; when a men understands 
the ceremonies of the celestial and terrestrial sacrifices, and the 
righteousness of the ancestorial and autumnal offeiings, the 
government of the country will perhaps be as easy to him as 
looking at one's hand." 

The commentator says, The celestial sacrifice was offered to hea- 
ven, and the terrestrial one to earth ; the sovereign of earth is not men- 
tioned in this connection, for the sake of brevity. The ancestorial 
ofi*ering was the great sacrifice presented by the emperor in the ances- 
torial temple, when he looked back and sacrificed to the ancestor from 
whom the first emperor of his dynasty sprang, and associated him with 
such first emperor. With regard to the autumnal sacrifice, we may 
observe, that sacrifices were offered at all the four seasons, though only 
one of them is here quoted. 

The paraphrase says, Speaking with reference to the celestial and 
terrestrial sacrifices, we may observe, that on the winter solstice, men 
sacrificed to heaven at the round hillock, and on the summer solstice, 
they sacrificed to earth at the square pool, which was the way in 
which they did service to the Supreme Ruler ; whilst they took the 
sincerity and respect wherewith they honoured heaven and compli- 
mented earth, in order to acknowledge the favour of nature's produc- 
tion and completion. The ceremonies of the ancestorial temple were 
performed either once in five years, or four times a year, and were in- 
tended for the service of progenitors ; whilst they took the feeling of 
honouring and reverencing ancestors, in order to carry out their sin- 
cerity in looking back to their distant forefathers. Such ceremonies 
and such righteousness, can only be carried out by benevolent and fi- 
lial persons ; when our perceptions are sufficiently clear to under- 
stand the duty of sacrificing to 'th ^be (Supreme) Ruler, we can 
perform the duties of nourishing the myriads of the people : and when 
we are sufficiently intelligent in the matter of filial piety, as to be 
able to sacrifice to our parents, we shall be able also, by suck filial 
piety, to govern the whole empire. 

In order to understand the above extract, we must consider 
that the Chinese have had various ways of designating the 
Supreme power ; sometimes they spoke only of Heaven, when 
they intended something similar to what Europeans mean by 
Heaven ; sometimes they used the term heaven and earth, 
when they intended by the phrase something approaching to 
our word Nature ; and sometimes they employed the terra Su- 
preme Ruler, when they meant something like our word Su- 
preme Being. These are occasionally interchangeable, and 
by a metonymy of the effect for the cause, Nature and Hea- 
ven are used by them, as well as among us, for the Ruler 
and Disposer of all things. Having adopted this kind of 
phraseology, it was natural that they should sometimes attach 
the ruling power, in their ideas, to the overshadowing Hea- 
vens, and sometimes contemplate it under the dual form, as 

-^ 206 

the Ruler of Heaven and the Sovereign of Earth ; but when 
unity and personality are intended to be conveyed, they use the 
term Supreme Ruler. Thus in offering their sacrifices, they 
occasionally present them under the form of celestial and ter- 
restrial offerings, and sometimes niinister them at the sum- 
mer and winter solstices alternately, but it is evident from 
the general tenor of their writings, that they look upon the 
Power above as one, whom they honour under the title of the 

'(^ (Supreme) Ruler, or God. 

In the first section of ;^ ^ Mang'-tsze, and on the 19th 
page, we read as follows : 

" The Historical Classic says, when Heaven sent down 
the inferior people, it appointed princes and teachers over 
them ; saying, Let them assist the Supreme Ruler, and be fa- 
voured above all others in every place ; thus, whether people 
do or do not offend, here are we (rulers) present, and under 
the whole heaven how dare any give indulgence to their 
refractory wills 1 When but one man (the tyrant Chow) 
acted disorderly throughout the empire, Wob-wang felt a- 
shamed of him. This was Wob-wang's bravery, and thus it 
was that Wob-wang, by one act of bravery, tranquillized the 
people of the empire." 

The commentator says, That the present quotation differs in som e 
respects from the original classic, but he thinks it better to explain the 
words as they stand here. 

The meaning of the writer will be more apparent from the 
paraphrase : When Heaven sent down the inferior people, they 
could not manage themselves, therefore rulers were appoint- 
ed for their controul ; and they could not in3^ruct themselves, 
therefore teachers were set up for their guidance. The inten- 
tion of this arrangement was, that the rulers and teachers 
should act in the stead of Heaven to curry out right principles, 
and aid in those things in which the Supreme Ruler could 
not personally interfere. They were therefore gifted with very 
honourable stations, and favoured above all the surround- 
ing population. Now seeing that we (rulers) have re- 
ceived the decree of Heaven, and become the rulers and 
teachers of the people, then all those throughout the empire 
who offend, wchave authority to slay ; and all those who are 
innocent, we are commissioned to tranquillize ; how dare any 
then indulge their evil propensities and oppress the people? 

In the above passage the term Supreme Ruler is used synonymous- 
ly with tl^e .^yord Heaven, as the source of all rule, authority, and 
power, sometliing in accordance with the observation of Dainiel, " that 
the Heaivens do rule." The phrase, aiding the Supreme, and doing 
that which he could not attain to, is a strong expression, to intimate 
t Kelt those who rule by his appointment are his ministers, to carry out 


his views in the government of the world, and to do that in which he 
could not personally interfere. 

In the 4th section, page the 7th, we read, 

"The Ode says, 'The descendants of the Shang dynasty 
are not to be counted by myriads, but the Supreme Ruler has 
decreed that they should be in subjection to the Chow dynas- 
ty ; now they are subject to Chow, because the celestial 
decree is not constant in one family ; and the adherents of 
the Yin (or Shang) dynasty, although great and prosperous, 
are yet obliged to aid in pouring out the libations in the an- 
cestorial temple of the capital of Chow.' Confucius, (on 
reading the above quotation) used to say, ' The benevolent 
man is not to be resisted by multitudes.' Thus it is that 
when a prince loves benevolence, he will find no enemy 
throughout the world." 

In ihe above passage the Supreme Ruler is spoken of as he who 
decrees the empire to one or another, according to his will, and con- 
veys to us the idea of his perfect sovereignty. 

On the 27th page of the same section, 

" Mang-tsze said, Were the beautiful Se^tsze to be carry- 
ing about an unpleasant smell, every body would stop their 
noses on passing her. But if ever such an ugly person were 
to practise fasting and bathing, he could then do sacrifice to 
the Supreme Ruler." 

In this passage the Supreme Ruler is evidently viewed as the high- 
est power to whom sacrifice could be offered, and who would not re- 
ject the services of the most ill-favoured, if entered upon with due. 

The above are all the passages in the Four Books, which appear 
to contain any reference to the Supreme Ruler, we will now turn to 
the Five Classics. 

In the Shoo king, or Historical Classic, Book 1st, sect. 2d, 
page 11, the word Shang-te occurs, but this passage having 
i?een already explained whilst treating of the Shin, it is not ne- 
cessary to refer to it again. We beg leave, however, to call 
particular attention to tlie expression, " that august one, the 
Supreme Ruler, most honourable and without compare," as 
exhibiting to u=? th« elevated conceptions, which the Chinese 
ancients have formed regarding the Supreme Ruler. 

In the 5th section of the same book, page 37, we read, 

" Yii said, That is true, your Majesty ; but those who are 
in high stations should be extremely careful ! To which the 
emperor Shun replied. That is a very just remark. Yu re- 
sumed, Let your mind rest (in that point of goodness) in 
which you ought to settle ; reflect on the springs of action, 
and think of the way in which they will subside. Allow 
your ministers to be straight-forward (in their remarks ;) and 
then, whenever you make any movement; there will be a gene- 


ral correspondence (to your wishes,) as if (the people were) 
anticipating your commands ; (act thus, in order) luminous- 
ly to receive (the decree of) the Supreme Ruler, and then 
should Hfeaven issue any new decree, it would be of an ex- 
cellent kind (in your favour.)" 

In the above passage the idea attached to the Supreme Ruler is, 
that of being the supreme disposer of human affairs, *' by whom kings 
reign, and princes decree justice :" it is also put synonymously with 
Heaven, on the assumed principle that " the Heavens do rule." 

The 1st section of the 3d book thus begins : 

" The future king (Ghing-t'hang) said, Come hither, all ye 
people, and listen every one of you to my words ; it is not 
that I the insignificant one, would venture to bring on my- 
self the reproach of acting disorderly, (by attacking my law- 
ful sovereign), but the fact is, that the ruler of the Hea d) - 
nasty has perpetrated many crimes, and Heaven has com- 
manded me to exterminate him. 

'^ISow all you people are saying, that (I) your prince do 
not compassionate you multitudes, (causing you) to aban- 
don your harvests, that you may go to cut off and correct the 
ruler of Hea ; I have heard all these your remarks ; but the 
ruler of Hea has been guilty of crimes, and I, dreading the 
Supreme Ruler, do not dare to refuse to correct (the delin - 

In the above passage, Ohing-t'hang, viewing the oppressions of the 
He^ dynasty, assumes that the decree of Heaven had already been is- 
sued to exterminate its ruler, and that he had been commissioned to 
carry out the decree ; therefore, notwithstanding the complaints of 
his followers, be professed to have such a prevailing dread of the Su- 
preme Ruler on his mind, as not to dare to refuse the celestial com- 
mission. The idea attached to the expression Supreme Ruler in this 
connection, therefore, is that of the "most High ruling among the 
kingdoms of men, and giving them to whomsoever he will ; doing ac- 
cording to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants 
of the earth, so that none can stay his hand, or say unto Him, what 
doest thou." 

In the 3d section of the same book, page 6th, we read, 

" The king (Ching-t'hang) returned from the conquest of 
Hea, and arrived at the city of Po, where he issued a general 
announcement to the myriad of states. The king said. Oh 
you myriad of states, and multitudes of people, carefully lis- 
ten to the announcements which I, a single individual, now 
make to you. The aug^ust Supreme Ruler (originally) con- 
ferred the just medium of virtue on the lower people ; that 
which induces men to follow this out, is their invariably per- 
fect nature ; while those who are able to make people peace- 
fully comply with the right way, are human rulers." 

The paraphrase on this passage says, The majestic Supreme Ruler, 


fTix 35 hIi Wi ^" Iransrunning and producing the myriad of thinftS^ 
confeired tins great principle of the just medium and perfect correct 
nes8 on the lower people, everywhere causing them to hit the due 
centre, without the least atom of depravity or dcflectiveness ; the low- 
er people, having rect ived this just medium, had only to comply with 
the spontaneous workings of what they had received from Hearen, 
and then they would all possess an invariably perfect nature ; as pa- 
rents and children naturally cherish towards each ether the feeling of 
love, while rulers and subjects as naturally conceive the idea of res- 
pect ; so also husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends and 
companions, of their own accord, exlibit the virtues of propriety, wis- 
dom, and truth ; all which, both saa-e and simple, in all ages of the 
world, have uniformly displayed. But though Heaven has conferred 
the due medium on all alike, yet men have received it in a different 
manner, and it depends upon human rulers so to transform and accom- 
modate their various natural constitutions, that they may each one 
comply with the right way. 

In the above passage, the production and transformation of the 
myriad of things, and particularly the conferring of that virtuous na- 
ture, which the Chinese suppose all men originally possessed , are 
all ascribed to the Great Supreme, who "made man upright, though 
he hath since sought out many inventions." 

On the next page, we have (he following : 

" Ching-t'hang, addressing the people, said, Jf yon display- 
any virtues, I do not dare to hide them ; and when fault 
attaches to my person, I do not presume to excuse myself ; 
the inspection of these things reita with the mind of the Su- 
preme Ruler." 

The paraphrase is as follows : If you people possess the good 
quality of maintaining the laws and preserving the excellent decree, 
1 do not presume to hide or conceal it ; and if I fall into the error of 
not being able to harmonize and tranquillize the people, I do not dare 
to excuse myself; the rewarding of goodness, and the blaming of 
faults rests, in every case, with the review aud inspection of the 
TJiind of the Supreme Ruler, and cannot be privately decided on by 
me : therefore you, both princes and ministers, must not neglect se- 
verally to fulfil your various duties." 

In the above passage, we liave a reference to the mind of the Su- 
preme, who contemplates and judges of the actions of men, rewardintj 
or punibhing them as they deserve, without regard to their private 
views aad feelings ; for " his eyes are upon all the ways of the son« 
of men, to give every one accorJing to his ways, and according to the 
fruit of his doings." 

The closing paragraph of the same section is as follows : 

" Oh you heir of the throne, be respectfully cautious in re- 
gard to your person, and reflect on these things ; the eacred 
counsels (you have heard) are of great extent, and these ex- 
cellent words are exceedingly bright ! Moreover, (the decree 
of) the Supreme Ruler, is not invariably fixt^l in favour o 
one (individual) ; if you do good, he will send down a hun- 



dted blessings, and if you do evil, lie will pour down Siliun* 
dred curses.'* ' 

The paraphrase says, The Supreme Ruler, in conferring or with- 
holding his favour from individual princes^ is originally not fixed lo 
one person ; if therefore you can confitantly reflect on the couniels you 
have heard, and not disohey them, this would he to do good, when 
Heaven would send down a hundred blessings; but if you cannot per- 
petually think on the counsels afforded you, but disobey them, this 
would be to do evil, and Mekten would send down upon you a hun- 
dred calamities. 

'Here, not only have we an exhibition of the Supreme Ruler's dis- 
posing of the fate of sovereigns, but alsO rewarding and punishing ac- 
cording to the works of men ; and though such retributions spoken 
of in the text with reference to the Supreme, are in the paraphrase 
ascribed to Heaveu, yet it is evident that by the word Heaven, in the 
paraphrase, is meant none other than thfe Ruler of heaven, who re- 
wards and punishes men according as their works may be. 

In the 7th section of the same book, we read, 

^' The former monarch (Ching-t'hang) constantly exerted 
himself in order respectfully to cultivate his virtue, so that he 
could be compared with the Supreme Ruler ; now your Ma- 
jesty, having inherited the honourable line of succession, 
sliould contemplate this example.^ 

The paraphras^e says, that the king morning -and evening encoura- 
ged himself in cautious trepidation, in order to cultivate his virtue^ 
therefore he could become the ruUr of the empire, and in this respect 
be compared with the Supreme Ruler of the universe. 

The likening of an earthly ruler to the Lord of all, wears 
the appearance of excessive flattery, but the comparison is 
between the supremacy of the ruler of the empire, and the su- 
premacy of the Sovereign of the universe, intimating the uni- 
versal rule of each over all beneath his sway» 

In the 11th section of the same book, we read, 

" It is thus that the Supreme Ruler is about to renew the 
virtues of our first ancestor, and extend right rule to this our 
state ; whilst I, with a few of my earnest and respectful serv- 
ants, carefully sustain the lives of you people, and perpetuate 
your residence in this new city." 

The work ascribed to the Supreme Ruler, in the above passage, is 
that of promoting the prosperity of empires. 

In the Ist section of the 4th book, occurrs a passage, which 
has been before commented on, in treating of the word Shin ; 
so that it is not necessary to refer to it further, than to re- 
mark, that the commentator observes a certain distinction and 
order between the various objects of worship, which the ty- 
rant Chow had neglected, saying, that "he had set aside 
the service due to the Supreme Ruler, with the hundred 
'Shins, and the manes of ancpstors," evidently inferring tlge 


superiority of the former and the iaferiority of the latter. 

The following sentence of the Hietorlcal Classic has also been pre- 
viously considered, in quoting the passages from the Pour Booki 
treating of the Supreme Ruler. The attentive reader will, as Choo- 
foo-tsze has renaarked, observe some difference in the wording of the 
original and the quotation, but nothing that bears on the questiaa 
before us. 

Towards the close of the same iectioii we have th^ follow- 
ing remarks of Wob-wang : 

'^ I, the insignificant one, night An4 day, am respectfully 
cautious ; having received the decree to rule from my father 
Wan-wane, I offered the celestial sacrifice to the Supremj^ 
Ruler, and the terrestrial sacrifice in hoifiouf of the lares 
rustici ; and now, with you multitudea, I will carry out the 
inflictions of heaven." 

The paraphrase says, I, the insignificant one, early and late ma^ 
uifested respect and eaution, in order to attack the Shang dynasty, 
which undertaking is merely the carrying out of the unaccomplished 
work of my predecessor ; I, therefore, went first to receive the decree 
in the temple of my father Wan-wang ; but it was Heaven that gave 
the decree to my father, therefore I further performed the celestial sa- 
crifice to the Supreme Ruler, to seek his blessing : and the ter- 
restrial sacrifice, in honour of the lares rustici^ in order to give in- 
formation of my intention to attack Shang. 

In the above passage the Supreme Ruler is acknowledged as the 
disposer of events, and therefore sacrificed to at the commencement 
of a great undertaking, in order to obtain his blessing; the para- 
phrast ascribes the acts of the Supreme to Heaven, which we need not 
account strajige, when he who tpake as iMver man spake proposed 
the question, whether the baptism of John were of Heaven or of open. 

In the 3rd section of the 4th book, Ching^t'hang, after enu- 
merating the villainies of the tyrant, says, " that the Su- 
preme Ruler would not accord with bis doings, and determined 
on sending down this calamity" for his chastisement. In 
this passage the character ascribe to the Supreme is that of 
the disapprobation of vice, and the determination to punish it. 

In the 5th section of the «air^ book, Wob-wang makes a 
declaration of the tyrant's wickedness, and says, that " hav- 
ing obtained some benevolent persons (to assist him), he pre- 
sumed lespectfully to receive (the decree of) the Supreme 
Ruler, in order to suppress rebellious counsels." In which the 
character given to the Supreme Ruler is that of aiding the 
patriotic in rescuing an oppressed country from a tyrant's 
rule . 

In the 9th section of the same book, Ching-wang, the ^ori 
of Wob-wang, on proceeding to suppress an insurrection in 
one part of his dominions, said, ■' Moreover, I, who am but a 
little child, do not dare to set aside the command of the Su^ 
preme R«ler.'^ Upon this tbe commentator remarkSj that 


the kins^ had coiisulte;! the prognostications regarding tli& 
projected undertakingrj and finding them favourable, he con- 
sidered thai it was the will of the Supreme Ruler, that he 
should go on this expedition ; and how dare he, asks the 
commentator, contravene the commands of the Highest Po- 
tentate ? The paraphrast lays it out thus, '* Divination is 
that whereby we connect ourselves with the intelligence of 
Heaven. Kow my prognostications are all favourable, and 
thus the expedition ac^ainst the rebels is really what the Su- 
preme Ruler has commanded me to S3t about ; I, who am but 
a little child, respectfully perform his high behests, without 
indulging in indifference, how can I dare lightly to set aside 
and disobey his orders ?" From the above we perceive, that 
when the Chinese thought they discovered the will of the Su- 
preme, by the only mathod that recommended itself to their 
unenlightened judgment, they did not dare to disobey, but 
considered it a sufficient warrant to set about hazardous ex- 
peditions, even though others should disapprove of them. 

In the 9th section of the same book, page 40, we read, 

*' The king said, Oh, do you enlarge your views, all you 
chiefs of states, together with you officers employed j (remem- 
ber that) the glorious kingdom (founded by Wob-wang) 
was indebted to clever men ; and it was only owing to those 
ten persons (capable of quelling disorders), who could trace 
out and understand the decrees of the Supreme Ruler, (thus 
perceiving that the tyrant was rejected and our own mo- 
narch approved of), until Heaven aided their sincerity (in en- 
abling them to subjugate the Yin dynasty.)" 

In the above passage, the rise or fall of dynasties is said to de- 
pend upon the decree of the Supreme Ruler, and the chief part oi 
wisdom is to be able aicertain in whose favour that decree is passed, 
and to act accordingly. 

In the ICth section of the same book, we read, 

Ching-wang, admiring the count of Wei, said, " You alons 
^an tread in, and cultivate the virtuous ways (of your ances- 
tor ;) and for a long time, you have had a good reputation for 
respectful carefulness, and filial piety ; venerating and ho- 
nouring both invisible and human beings ; I therefore admire 
your virtue, and esteem it to be »olid, whilst you are not im- 
mindful (of your predecessors.) Thus the Supreme Ruler 
will frequently enjoy your sacrifices, while the lower people 
will become reverently harmonious through you ; therefore 
I appoint you to the dignity of an arch-duke, to gov»rn thi^ 
eastern territory of Hea." 

Here the reference is to the gratification with which the Supreme 
Ruler will accept the offerings of those who are virtuous and good. 

In the Uth section of the same book, we read, Woo- 


wafJg, after r^f'counting the virtues of his father Wan-wang*, 
which induced the people to confide in and honour him as 
their protector, says, the fragrance of such perfect virtue ^^whs 

perceived by the K ^ Supreme Ruler, when ^ the (Su- 
preme) Ruler approved, and Heaven fully authorized Wan- 
wanof to make war on and destroy the Yin dynasty." 

Hereaajain the idea brought forward is, that the Supreme 
.Ruler perceives and approves the virtues of good men, as if 
smelling a sweet savour, and commissions those whom he ap- 
proves to assume and exercise authority : thus sang Isaiah 
in vision, " the way of ihe^y»r,t is upright ; thou most just 
<lost approve the path of the upright." We have here also to 
remark that the word ^ Ruler is used synonymously with 

r. *^ Supreme Ruler. 

In the 1st section of the 5th Book, we have the announce- 
ment of Chaou-kung to Chinqr-wang, the son of Woo- wan g, 
paying, " Yes, indeed, Imperial Heaven's Supreme Ruler has 
changed the decree once passed in favour of his chief son, the 
sovereign of this great country of Yin, and your Majesty has 
received it, accompanied by interminable blessings and incal- 
culable anxieties j how then can you dispense with respectful 
caution ?" 

Here the reference is to the sovereignty cf the Supreme, disposing 
at will of the thrones of monarchs, and on reading it we cannot help 
being reminded of the words of Daniel, '* The most high ruleth in the 
kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." 

A little further on, the same adviser says. " Let the king 
now come, and carry out the authority of the Supreme Ruler, 
while he subdues himself in this central land." Intimating 
that the authority of kings was derived from above, and that 
an the proper exercise of it monarchs were but carrying out 
the authority of the Supreme ; for "the kingdom is the Lord's, 
and he is the Governor among the nations." 

In the 3rd section of the same book, Chow-kung, whilst de- ' 
fending the conduct of the Chow dynasty, in superseding the 
former line of monarchs, observed, 

"I have heard it said, That the Supreme Ruler leads people 
on by gentle methods, but the ruler of Hea would not yield 
to a mild influence ; and when »J^ the (Supreme) Ruler sent 
down his inflictions, to make known his will to this tyrant of 
Hea, he was not able to profit by the t^ Divine diBpensationa, 
but became excessively dissolute and voluptuous, feigning 
boasted assumptions ; when Heaven at length refused to re- 
gard or listen to him, and abrogating the original decree in 
his> favour, inflicted condijn punishment upon him." 


In the above passage we have the Supr<^rm Raler represented eur 
dealing first by gentler nnethods with a refractory prince, and finding 
him unable to profit by such mild corrections, determining at length ta 
set him aside entirely, and raise up another in his stead. What more 
striking exhibition could we have of the kind dealing's of divine Pro- 
vidence, and of the paternal character of the Divine Government. We 

wiah to call attention here also to the repeated u^e of the word*f^ Ruler 
for God» and for the Divine dispensations. 

Further on we read, " Thus has the Supreme Rulor with- 
held his protection, and sent down thi^ extensive ruin." Is 
there evil in the city, the prophet asks, and the Lord hath not 
done it 1 

In the 5th section of the same book, we have Chow-kung 
addressiiig his brother, saying, '' Oh prince ! you have beea 
accustomed to observe, that it mainly depends on ourselves, 
(to preserve the decree in our family ) ; I also do not presume 
to rest too confidently on the decree of the Supreme Ruler 
(ift my favour,) and thus fail perpetually to anticipate the ter- 
rible inflictions of Heavens, or imagine that our people will 
not at some time or other murmur and rebel." 

The idea conveyed by the above passage is, that the celestial de- 
cree appointing certain princes to rule is in accordance with the dis- 
position of the people : if the feelings of the people accord with the 
government of any particular individual, the decree of Heaven may be 
maintained in his favour ; therefore it becomes sovereigns to be trem- 
blingly anxious, and not presume that the decree of Heaven is irrever- 
sibly fixed in their faradies, and thus improperly rely on the appoint- 
ment of the Supreme Ruler, as though that would never be reversed, 
and made in favour of one more worthy. It is evident from all this,, 
that the Chinese considered that the Supreme Ruler changes times 
and seasons, removing kings and setting up kings according to his 

A little further on, the same royal councellor alludes to 
various intelligent men who flourished during former reigns, 
such as E-yin, himself a sage, who aided his sovereign Chlng- 
t'hang, another sage, and thu«J by their united efforts in go- 
verning and transforming the people, "could influence im- 
perial Heaven" in their favour : also E-chth and Chin-hoo, 
themselves philosophers, who aided T'hae-woo, himself a 
wise king, and thus by their virtuous and energetic govern- 
ment " could influence the Supreme Ruler," to protect them. 
Whereupon the commentator remarks, that "When a reference 
is made to the protecting influence which overshadows man- 
kind, then the word Heaven is used, and when the reference 

is to the Lord of all, then the word 'J^ Ruler is employed. 
Thtis the Historical Classic sometimes speaks of Heaven and 
sometimes of die Ruler, severally according to the idea in- 
tended to be conveyed, and does not intimate any diflferenc*^ 


tof weight ahd inrportance betweeen the two expressions ; in 
this chapter the two phrases are contrasted with each other 
chiefly with xeference to ihe distinction between sages and 
philosophers, and the different gradations of the style." An- 
other commentator accounts for the use of separate terms in 
this connection, by the different features of e^ov^rnment ex- 
hibited by the various persons referred to. The rule of the 
former being overshadowing and all-pervading, like the out- 
stretched canopy of heaven ; while the movements of the lat- 
ter were in unison with celestial reason, and therefore more 
approaching to the idea of rule and management." We do 
not attempt here to decide which of their views is right, but 
only call attention to the discussion, with the view of shew- 
ing, that the Chinese themselves, apprehending that mistakes 
might arise from the practice of using these terms interchange- 
ably, thought it necessary to explain the leading features of 
each, and give the idea of overshadowing protection to the 
one, and of universal control to the other. Averring, at the 
same time, that the two terms wxre intended to refer to one 
and the same Power, which protects and presides over all 

A few sentences below, the duke continues, " Oh Shth I 
formerly the Supreme Ruler cut off (the Yin dynasty,) and 
renewedly stimulated the virtue of Woo- wing, concentrating 
the important decree upon his person." In this passage the 
idea of the Divide control over the kings of the «artl* is tlie 
same as before commented on. 

Tb« same councillor, in speaking of Wan-wang, said^ "Ji 
was also in consequence of the pure and protecting (decree in 
his favour) that (his ministers were enabled) to maintain aiirm 
hold on virtue, and were led on to an acquaintance with Hea- 
ven's tcrribleness ; thus they ill-ustrated Wa n - wan g's (princi- 
ples), drawing forth (his virtues,) that they might be observa- 
ble (above) and exert an oveishadcwing influence (belo*/); 
thus (the fragrance of his good government) was perceived 
by the Supreme Hiiler : and then he received the decree 
formerly passed in favour of the dynasty Yin." 

In the above extract w« have the Supreme Ruler again exhlbiteci, 
as smelling the sweet savour of a virtuous prince, and appointing him 
in consequence to univers?il rule. 

In the 8th sfecition of the same book, Chow-kung is refex- 
ring to the ancients who ** sought after clever men, that they 
mi^t pay honour to the Supreme Ruler, " and obtain his 
favour and protection . 

In a succeeding sientence, Chow-kung refers to the forjner 
emperor Chrng-t'i>ang, " who was advanced to promote in an 
^nfiinenfdegiee, the glorious will of the Supreme Ruler,*' 


which the paraph rast calls '■ causing the resplendent will of 
the Supreme Ruler to be gloriously manifested throughout 
the empire ;" showing the people in an evident manner that 
he was chosen by the Supreme to fulfil his will in ruling 
over the empire. Expressions which are inapplicable to 
any but Him, who doeth according to his will in the armies 
of heaven and amongst the inhabitants of the earth. 

Further on, Chow-kung observes : 

" Then we come to Wan-wangand Wob-wang, who were 
able to understand the feelings of the three kinds of superior 
officers, and clearly to perceive the talents of the three grades 
of clever men so as to employ them in respectfully serving; 
the Supreme Ruler, and m appointing elders and su[)eriors 
over the people." 

According to the above, the use of wisdom in the above monarch* 
viWri to discern and appreciate such talents in their officers, as would 
enable them to select proper persons rcspectfull}'^ to serve the Su- 
preme Ruler ; from which we may gather the high estimation in 
<•. Iiich they held him whom they supposed to be ruler over ail. 

In the 4th section of the 6th Book, K'hang-wang is alludinsf 
to the former sovereigns Wan and Woo, who tranquillized and 
enriched the empire; and having warlike and upright ministers 
under them " could receive the correct decree from the Su- 
preme Ruler, while high Heaven accorded with their princi- 
ples, and conferred upon them universal rule." 

In the 8th section of the same book, " Miih-wang wishing 
his criminal judge to frame a code of laws for the empire, 
first detailed the mistaken legislation of former times, when 
oppressions spread terror, and when multitudes being put to 

death, the people announced their innocence to J^ the Su- 
preme. The Supreme Ruler, then surveyed the people of 
Meaou, and found that they did not possess the fragrance of 
virtue, but that their punishments emitted an offensive o- 
dour. " Here we may remark upon the application of the 
first word used in ihe title Suprejiie Ruler to the Lord of all, 
calling hini fhe Supreme^ as the last word is also sometimes 
used alone with the same reference, designating him the Ru^ 
ler of the universe ; shewing that the words, both separately 
and together, are capable of being applied to the Deity. The 
attt^ntive reader will also observe, that personal acts and at- 
tributes are applied to him, such as the listening to com- 
plaints, and the looking down to survey the conduct of men» 
Further on he speaks blamingly of the same people of 
Meaou, uho neglected to examine criminal rases, or to ap- 
point proper judges, thus erroneously applying punishments 
and oppressing the innocent. This, he says, " the Supreme 
Ruler would not excuse, but attached blame to the Meaouitea., 
and cut them off." 


In the 0th section of t.h- sam*i baoV, Pln^-wang speaks of 
the illusirious Wan and Woo, on whoni ' the Supreme Ruler 
concentrated liis decree, appointing thstn to rule over the 
empire." Shewing that the writer attributed all the authori- 
ty and greatness obtained by those monarchs to the Divine 
decree in their favour. 

The above are all the oassayee that have occurred to us from the 
Shocking, as referring to Shang-te, and concur in giving us a most 
exalted idea of the greatness atid authority of Him, whom the Chinese 
designated as the Supreme Ruler. 

We turn now to the Book of Od^'? ; in the ^J^ ]f|^ Seaon- 
yay Canto of which, and in the J£ j^ Chi'ng-yue iection, 
we have the following sentence: / 

" Looking into the midst of the forest, we see people bind- 
ing their faggots and torches (which is apparent to every ob- 
server:) but now when the people are jn jeopardy, we look to 
Heaven, and find it dark and indi??tinrct, (as though it made 
no difference between good and bad) ; but when (the retribu- 
tions of Providence) h ive once been settled, every one with- 
out exception will be obliged tasi'bmit; (in these righteous 
retributions) we see the doinirs of the Great Supreme Ruler, 
and who will say, that he does this, (that is, punishes the 
wicked) out of hatred and ill will T' 

Here Ching-tsze remarks, That speaking of the visible ca- 
nopy over our heads, we call it heaven ; but speaking of the 

Lord and Governor there, we call him '^ Ruler. In this 
passage the retributions of Provid- nee are evidet^lly ascribed 
to the Supreme Ruler, who sends down in dictions on the 
wicked, not out of hatred and ill-will, but because justice re- 
quires it. 

In the same Canto, and in the S ^ Keo-kung section, 
we read as follows : 

" Behold yon mendow, with its overhanging willows ; who 
does not sometimes wish to rest beneath their shade ? (so do 
the princes of the empire wish to- repose beneath the shadow 
of the court.) but this Q Jfg* autocrat of our's is so 
spiriuir, that no one dares to approach him'; should a few 
of us endeavour, (by going to comt.) to consolidate his empire, 
he would then go to the extrcirrest lengths (in his demand* 
on our services,)'* ^ «^ 

Here the title of __L. ^f^ StipVeine Ruler, is used (according to the 
coram<^ntator) to designate the -autocrat of China, but evidently with 
reference to his exercising universal sway over the empire. 

The first section of the next Canio, called the "^ ^ Ta- 
yay, has so much in it referable to the subject before us, ihart 

. B l> 


we may be excused for transcribing the principle part of it. 
Chow-kung addressing Ching-wang said, " Behold Wan- 
wang in the realms above, how brightly does he shine in 
heaven ! Although the state of Ohow (over which he presi- 
ded on earth) was an ancient kingdom, yet the decree (ap- 
pointing it chief over the empire) was new in his days. Is 
not this first ruler of the Chow dynasty then brilliantly dis- 
played ? and is not the decree of ^ the (Supreme) Ruler in. 
his case rightly timed ? Behold, again. Wan- wang is there, 

ascending and descending in the presence of the tjgf (Su« 
preme) Ruler P' 

The commentator says, That although Win- wang was at that time 

dead, his^ ^^ spirit was in the realms above, shining brightly in hea- 
ven, whi^h shews that his virtue was brilliantly displayed ; also that 
the dynasty of Chow was in the zenith of its glory, and that the de- 
cree of the Ruler of all was then in its favour. For if the spirit of 
W&n-^rang was in heaven, ascending and descending, and per- 
petually waiting in the immediate presence of the Supreme Ruler, his 
descendants would certainly participate in the influence of bis vir- 
tftie, and maintain their rule over the empire. 

In this passage we have to remark on the use of ^^ ruler, in the 

sense of _£. *^ Supreme Ruler ; and further, would c^U attentioi^ 
to the fact of the Supreme Ruler presiding in the realms above, and 
the spirits of the blessed (according to Chinese ideas) perpetually 
ascending and descending in His presence. What nearer approach 
eould we have to the Christian idea of Gk>d. 

In the next sentence, but two, the poet says, 

*' How deep and distant is (the virtue of) Wan-wang ! how 
perpetually does he illustrate the respect which he maintain^ 
ed ! how great is the celestial decree in his favour ! Here 
are these descendants of the Shang dynasty, whose numbers 
are not to be limited by millions ; but the Supreme Ruler 
having passed his decree (in favour of Chow,) these are all 
bound in obedience to Chow." 

Here the usual reference is made to the Supreme Ruler, disposing 
of the fates of empirea. 

Further on the same poet observes, 

"Will you not reflect on youi ancestor, whan he cultivated 
his virtue, how he constantly spoke of agreeing with the rule of 
right, and considered that abundant happiness was to be sought 
for from himself. Formerly, before the Yin dynasty had 
lost the multitudas, its sovereign (in his universal dominion) 
could be compared to the Supreme Ruler ; you should there- 
fore take warning by Yin, for the great decree is not easily 
preserved in one family." 

Here th« commentatur tells us, that the Supreme Ruler is the 


95 /Cl 35 ^r ^^^^ °^ Heaven, the very word that the Ro- 
manists have used for (jod. 

In the next section, called ^ ^ Ta-ming, the poet says, 

" Then arose this Wan-wang, who was carefnl and cau- 
tious, intelligently serving the Supreme Ruler, and thus caus- 
ing much happiness to come upon him ; his virtue also be- 
ing incorrupt, he deceived charge of the kingdom." 

Further on, the poet is encouraging Wob-wang to the attack 
of Yin, saying, , 

" The multitudes of the Yin dynasty, are congregated like 
the leaves of the forest, and spread out in the shepherd^s 
plain ; but your hosts being banded together in their under- 
takings, the Supreme Ruler will be with you, and raise your 
mind above hesitation." 

Here we have the Supreme Ruler brought in as the God of battles, 
sustaining the patriotic defenders of their country's liberty by his 
presence, raising them above doubt, and giving them the victory thegr 
look for. 

In the same Canto, in the section entitled ^^ Hwing e, 

the words ^ Ruler, and J^ "^ Supreme Ruler, are used in- 
terchangeably and frequently occur ; we shall therefore trans- 
late the larger part of it. It begins with a reference to the 
times of T'hae-wang, T'hae-pth, and Wang-k'he, the ances- 
tors of Wan-wang, when they commenced their military ope* 
rations, and laid the foundation of the future greatness of 
their family. 

" Mow majestic is the Supreme Ruler ! looking down oa 
this lo\^er world, how gloriously does he shine ! Castiag 
his glance around on all quarters, he seeks the peaceful set- 
tlement of the people. Seeing that the two former dynasties 
(of Hea and Shang) had failed in their practice of govern- 
ment, he then, throughout the four quarteis of the empire, 
sought and considered (that he might find a proper person to 
settle the people) ; whereupon he, the Supreme Ruler, brought 
forward this family, increasing their wise regulations, and 
enlarging their borders, while he regarded this, their western 
land, and gave them thtf city of Pa" 

The paraphrase on the above passage is as follows : That majes- 
tic One, the Supreme Raler, although lofty and exalted, and dwelling 
on high, yet condescends to regard thi^ lower world, and gloriously 
displays his bright designs. His purpose, in Purveying the four quar- 
ters of the world, is none othar than to seek the peaceful settlement of 
the people, so that not one individual may be deprived of that which 
should promote his life and growth. But though the settlement of 
the people be High Heaven's main design, yet the most important 
thiiig in settling the people is, the selection of a proper prince. 
Now these two dynasties of Hea and Shatig, have not followed out 


the course that would lead to the settlement of the people, an.l having 
4?rred in the maitpr of iroverjiment, they could not carry out the celes- 
tial desiijn, and continue to be the lords of the living ; tlie Supreme 
Ruler thnt looked abroad among the surrounding states, enquiring 
and caiculatiug, in order to ascertain who was the sovereign best cal- 
culated for tranquillizing the people, and be the one whom He would 
wish to promote ; whereupon he enlarged the borders and improved 
the regulations (of the Chow dynasty,) that they might have some 
foundation on which to rest the fortunes of their family. 

In the above passage, we have especial reference to the exalted ma. 
jesty of the Supreme, and are. yet told that he takes especial cog- 
nizance of the affairs of men, and selects such sovereigns aa may 
be most likely to fulfil his bright designs, in order to promote th© 
tranquillity of the people. What more distinct reference could we 
have to the attributes of the Deity, and how could we mistake in de- 
signating the Being thus alluded to God ? 

The Chow family, having obtained a footing in the wes- 
tern territory, found it necessary to clear away the wil- 
derness, they therefore 

'•Pulled up and cleared the dead and dry sticks, they 
rounded off and arranged the bushes and rows of trees, they 
opened out and removed the willows and hollies, while they 
clipped and pruned the different kinds of mulberry ; thus the 

i^ (Supreme) Ruler having conducted thither that intelligent 
and virtuous prince (T'hae-wan?), the barbarians removed, 
and took their departure, while Heaven granted the prince an 
amiable partner, and conferred upon him a firm decree, (con- 
stituting his family paramoimt lords of the empire.)"' 
To T'hae-wang succeeded Wang^k'he, in whose days 

" The ^ (Supreme) Ruler observed the hill, (where they 
were settled,) and perceiving that ihe briars and thorn's were 
pulled up, and the firs and larches formed into rows, (knew 
that the people had resorted thij_her in great numbers) ; the 
'i^ (Supreme) Ruler, therefore, having formed a country for 
them, also raised up a virtuous sovereign (who could preside 
over it) ; for from the time of T'hae-pih and Wang-k'h.i, (he 
had passed his decree in their favour.) Now this Wang-k'he 
was naturally of a fraternal disposition, and displayed great 
kindness towards his elder brother, (who notwithstanding 
yielded the throne to him.) (Wang-k'h»;) then advanced the 
prosperity (of Chow.) and manifested his glory ; receiving 
the (Heaven -confer red) emolument, without letting it slip ; 
after which*(the influence of his family) was extended over 
all quarters of the empire. 

" With regard to this Wang-k'he, the ^ (Supreme) Ruler 
regulated his mmd, and silently diffuied his excellent fame, 
ihus his virtuous nature became enlightened, and being en- 


lightened, he was discriminative ; he was also fi? for becom- 
ing an indefatigable instructor and a ri-^rhteous sovereign, 
that he might rule over this great country ; he was also able 
to render the people harmonious and kind ; until .the time of 
Wan wan g his qualities left no unpleasant recollections ; but 
havini? received the blessing of the ^ (Supreme) Ruler, he 
was enabled to communicate it to his descendant. 

" The *^ (Supreme) Ruler then (as it were) addressed 
Wan-wang, saying, ' Do not be thus (with selfish motives) 
picking and choosing, do not be thus (with covetous desires) 
craving and asking ; (if you were nor drowned in these evil 
passions) you would greatly attain to the presages (of know- 
ledge), and advance towards the shore (of perfect virtue.)* 
At that time, the men of Meih were disrespectful and daring 
to attack the great country, had invaded the Yuen state, as 
far as the city of Kung^ when Wan-wang displayed one burst 
of anger, and drawing up the iirmies of Chow, he stopped the 
progress of the invading force, thus consolidating Chow's 
prosperity, and answering the expectations of the em pire. 

"The ^(Supreme) Ruler then addressed Wan-wan:^, 
saying, ' I have well considered your itite^Mgent virtue, that 
it does not consist in multiplying boisterous sounds and flam^ 
ing colours, nor in setting forth extravagance and variety, 
(possessing knowledi^^e and understanding,) and yet appearing 
as if ignorant asid unconscious, you follow out the laws of the 
^ (Suprem<') Rnl r (in order to attain perfection.) There- 
fore I, the (Supreme) Ruler, direct you^ Wan-w.ang, to inves- 
tigate the state of your adversary's country, in conjunction 
with your allied brethreUj and taking your scaling ladders 
and your moving tow,jrs, go to the attack of the earl of 
Tsung, in his city of Yung." 

In the whole of the above sentences, we have the most evident indi- 
cations of the special and universial government of the Supreme ; 
it was He who selected the abode of the favonred family. He \tho 
raised up for them a vivtuous sovereign, (Wang-khe,) He who regu- 
lated his rniiid, and diffused abroad his fame, while He blessed him ir» 
the bestowineit of a virtuous descendant (Wan-wanii) ; to this des- 
cendant, the Supreme Ruler is. represented as addressing his com- 
mands, directing him to avoid the vice.^ of selfishness and covetous- 
iiess, and ap])roving of thtj unostentatious virtue which he displayed, 
V hilst he followed out the laws of the Supreme. In all this what 
evident traces do we find, not only of the supremacy of God, but of 
his direct interference in the affairs of mankmd, bestowing blessings 
on the virtuouf', who act according to his will, and chastising the dis- 
obedient. Surely every thing, but what is peculiar to the Christian 
Revelation, in the character and attributes of the Deity, itj exhibite4 


in this accoant of the Supreme Ruler, given in the ancient classics of 
the Chinese. 

In the ode called 5E ^ Sang-mln, we have a strange re- 
ference to the miraculous conception of How-tseih, the first 
ancestor of the Chow dynasty, which the poet adduces to ac- 
count for How-tseih's being associated with Heaven, in hav- 
ing divine honours paid to him. Thfe ode is as follows : 

" The first bringing^ forth of our fmnily, originated with the 
iady Keang-yuen. How were our people then born 1 (It 
was in this way.) (The lady in question) was enabled to 
present sacrifices and offerings, setting forth her childless con- 
dition, (and asking for a son,) when she (suddenly) trod on 

the great toe of a foot-print made by a 'ij? Divine person, 
and felt affected and moved. She then selected the place 
where she had been thus distinguished for her residence, and 
as soon as she quickened, she reverently retired to a separate 
abode ; in due time she brought forth and nourished a son, 
which was none other than How-tseih, (the first ancestor of 
the Chow family.)" 

The paraphrast tells us, that after having offered her sacrifice, and 
prayed for a son, the Supreme Ruler, observing her stillness and sin- 
cerity, caused her to tee the foot-print ot some gigantic individual, and 
«he treading in the impress of the great toe, felt an unusual commo- 
tion within her, as though she had become pregnant ; at the due peri- 
od, she brought forth a son, and called him How-tseih. 

"When the months of pregnancy were completed, she 
brought forth her first-born son, as easily as a lamb (is born 
into the world) ; there was no bursting nor tearing, no trou- 
ble nor sorrow, in order to shew the miraculous nature (of 
the conception ;) does not thisshew that the Supreme Ruler 
was pacified, and accepted of her sacrifice, granting her thus 
easily to bring forth a son ?" 

In the above description, the Roman Catholics fancy much 
resemblance to the miraculous conception of the Virgin Mary, 
and frequently adduce it in illustration of that extraordinary 
event. The last paragraph speaks of the Chow family ho- 
nouring their ancestor How-tseih, by associating him with 
Heaven in sacrifice, and says, 

" When we fill the trenchers, even the trenchers and 
bowls, (with the sacrificial viands,) no sooner does th6 fra- 
grance ascend upwards, than the Supreme Ruler smells a 
sweet savour. How fragrant and truly opportune is this 
offering ! For from the time when How-tseih first presented 
his sacrifice, we have since had no crunes to repent of, even 
to the present day." 
j^ In the paraphrase on the above paragraph, Speaking of the fra- 

IfTftfiee of the sftcri^ce ascending, the writer says, that " _L iff J^ 


^if the Spirit of t!»e Supreme Ruler approvingly comes down to en- 
joy it." As this is the first iusta.nce in which we have met with the 
expression we draw attention to it. 

In the Ode called ^^ Pan, we have some complaints re- 
garding Le-wang, who by his tyrannical conduct brought 
miseries on ths people, and induced the Supreme Ruler to 
reverse his usual course, and send down calamities on man- 
kind. The ode begins thus : 

" The Supreme Ruler has reversed (his usual course of 
proceeding,) and caused the lower people to be exceedingly- 
pained ; while you (instead of endeavouring to remedy the 
evil) give utterance to expressions which are not in accord- 
ance with reason, and lay plans which are also not calculated 
for perpetuity; you are sayiiy*, that since there are now no 
sages in existence, you can do as you like, without maintain- 
ing good principles. Furthermore, you are insincere in your 
professions, and not merely short-sighted in your plans ; we 
therefore make use of this great reproof, (that you may do 
something to regain the lost favour of the Supreme.)" 

In the above passage, calamities as well as blessings are supppsed 
to come from above, and in times of trouble, reformation is insisted 
on, that the evil decreed may not come upon the people. 

In the Ode called ^ T'hang, we have another reference to 
the calamitous changes brought about by the tyrannical con- 
duct of Le-wang in the setting forth of which the writer in- 
dulges in a tone of angry complaint, which is considered re- 
prehensible, even by the Chiacse themselves. The poet 
thus exclaims, 

" The vast and extensive Supreme Ruler is the governor 
of the nations ; but how is it that this oppressive autocrat 
has decreed to bestow on us such a corrupt nature ? when 
Heaven produced the multitudes of people (it certainly de- 
creed on them a virtuous nature) ; but the celestial decree is 
not to be depended on ; at the first, indeed, (human nature) was 
invariably (good), but since that time few have been able to 
catry it out to a (good) termination." 

In the above passage t^e writer commences by an improper conj- 
plaint of the Divine Being for giving such passions to men, as should 
lead them astray ; something like the ungodly murmurs against the Di- 
vine arrangements, which we not un frequently meet with in the wes- 
tern world : but he suddenly checks himself by saying, that Heaven 
certainly decreed a virtuous nature for mankind, and the present 
obliquity of hnman conduct arises from men not having carried out 
their virtuous nature to perfection : how strongly does this remind 
us of the words of Holy Writ, God made man upright, but he hath 
sought out many inventions. 

In the 7ih verse of the same Otfe, the poets alludes to 


Wan-wane's remonstrances, regard i?iq: the misrule of the Yin 
dynasty, brmjinrdown calamities on the people. 

** Wrin-vvaiig said, Oh you ruler of tha Yin dynasty ! it 19 
not that the Suj.reme Ruler has brou2[ht these calamitous 
times upon us. but it is because you have not made use of 
the former things ; for although there may be no longer any 
of the old experienced ministers surviving, there are still 
the ancient regulations in existence; how is it then that you 
have not attended to them, and thus occasioned the subver- 
sion of the gr-at decree (in your favour.) " 

Hers the writer endeavours to clear the character of the Supreme 
Ruler from the cliarge of having vvuntonly brought the calamities in 
q'lestion upon the people, and ascribes it to human governors, vho 
had forsaken the counsel of the old men, and the wtiolesome lavs al- 
ready in existence, to follow their own pernicious ways. 

In the Ode called ^f ^ Yun han, the minister of Jing- 
sh;h admires the reformation of Seun-wang, who seeing the 
d :solations occasioned by his father Le-wang's tyranny, and 
by his own misrule, as well as observing the threatened 
judgments of Heaven, remodelled his government, and a- 
dopted a virtuous course. The poet says, ^ 

" How lofty is yon milky way, shintTig and revolving in 
the heavens ! The king (knowing the ni^rhtly appearance 
of the milky way to be indicative of clear weather, and so 
thri^atening coiuinu d drought), said, Alas ! what have these 
poor people done, that Heaven should send down such confu- 
sion, and cause famines and desolations again to visit us. 
There is not a Shin that we have not sacrificed to, we have 
not been sparing of our sacrificial animals, and have brought 
forward the whole of our gems (to present them upon the 
altars.) How is it then that (our prayers) are not heard ?" 
The poet proceeds, 

" Seeing that the drought is thus excessive, and the op- 
pressive heat increasing, we have not ceased to offer sacri- 
fices, from the sacrifice to Heaven, to that presented to ances- 
tors ; to the invisible beinos above and below we have poured 
out libations and interred the victims ; there is not a Shin 
that we ()ave not honoured, and yet our first ancestor How- 
tseih cannot assist us. while the Supreme Ruler will not come 
down to our relief ; how is it that this wasting and desolation, 
coming down upon the country, has occurred in our reign V^ 

The difference here put bet^^een the first ancestor and the Supreme 
Ruhr is worthy of remark ; of the former it is hinted, that he could 
not if he would, and of the latter that he would not, though he could, 
relieve them. Giving thxjir ancestor credit for good wishes but 
ascribing all the power to the Supreme ; who for wise reasons did.. 
not^e fit to help them. The writer goses on to say, 



*' This drought having become very great, it cannot be 
«kVoided, so that we tremble and are alarmed, as when the 
thunders rattle over our heads : the poor remnant of the Chow 
people, will toon have not half a man left ; the Supreme Ru- 
ler of the glorious Heavens^ has not even exempted me Tthe 
sovereign), how then can ( avoid the expression of alarm, lest 
my ancestors (by the extinction of their family,) should be 
utterly exterminated (and have no one to offer sacrifices to 

*' This drought becomini:^ increasingly severe, the hills and 
rivers arc divested of vee;etation and moisture (literally clean- 
ed out); the demon of drought acts out his oppressions, so 
that we are scorched and burnt, and our minds being dis- 
tressed with this summer heat, feel as though they were dried 
up ; I have appealed to (the manes of) the former dukes and 
correct ministers, but they pay no attention to me ; why does 
not th-- Supreme Ruler of the glorious Heavens grant me a 
method of escajje !" 

Here agait), the distinction between tht manes of snceetors and the 
Supreme Ruler, as to the ability to interfere in their behalf, is ap* 
parent. The demon of drought is by the commentator called a Shin. 

" The drought being more and more severe, (1 would cer- 
tainly go away and escape from its effects) but I put a con- 
straint upon myself, and do not dare to leave my post ; yet 
how is it that I am afflicted with this drought ? 1 am unable 
to divine the cause ; in praying for a prosperous year, I have 
been sufficiently early ; in sacrificing to the lar«»s of the four 
quarters of the land, I have not been negligent ; but the Su- 
preme Ruler of the glorious Heavens does not estimate my 

devotedness ; having been thus respectful 8H l!!^ *^^ intelli- 
gent and invisible beings, I ought not to have been exposed 
to wrath and displeasure." 

In the ^ ^ Chow-Sling Canto, we have the ^ ^ 
Chih-kiiig Ode, wiiich was composed to be sung when sacri- 
fices were offered to Wob-wang, Chlng-waug, and K'hang- 
wang ; it commences thus r^ 

"How vi-^oroui in maintaining self-control was Wob- 
wansr, while none were able to control him, on account of his 
energy ; (he was succeeded by) ChUig and K'hang, who were 
also celebrated, and thus the Supreme Ruler mad* them 

Here the Supreme Ruler is represented as constituting them sove- 
reigns of the empire, on account of their virtue. 

In the next Ode, called ^ ^ Sze wari, we have *i^, Te 
used for the (Supreme) KuJer ; sjjeaking of Hovv-tsethj the 




first ancestor of the Chow dynasty, who, taught the people 
husbandry , the writer says, 

« The accomplished How-tscth, could be associated with 
Heaven, (in the honors paid to him ;) for the giving of corn to 
us multitudes of people was doubtless owing to his extrenje 
virtue j it was he that left us the (knowledge of) wheat and 
barl-y, which the ^"J^ (Supreme) Rultr has appointed for uni- 
versal iiourishmnt ; thus (th^^ people have had leisure to at- 
tend to the cultivation ot their minds, and) there is was no 
Idnofer any difference between this border and that limit, but 
the five constant virtues are set fortli throughout the empire of 

The next Ode is on the subject of husbandry lii^ewise, 

" Oh ydn, ministers presiding over the public works, be res- 
pectful in your duties ; the king has bestowed upon you 
perfect regulations • do you come hither to consult and consi- 
der them. 

" Oh you, assistant agricultural officers, just now in the 
5rd ttionth of spring what have you to attend to ? you have 
to see how they eet on with their new fidds ; oli how beau- 
tiful does the wheat and barley app3ar ! which we receive 
as the bright gift (of the Supreme) ; m ly the bright and glo* 
tious Supremii Ruler give us a plentiful harvest ; tell all your 
labourers to prepare their hoes and weeding instruments, 
and to look after their reap^hooks, (to be ready) for cutting 
down (the crop.) 

Here the husbandman is directed to Idok to the Supreme Ruler 
ioT a plentiful harvest, which is considered the bright gift of that glo- 

Xions being ,^ ^f\ Bm tA^ 

In the Canto called ^ ^/^ Loo-siing, and the (5q Q Pe- 
kun» Ode, the poet i^ admirini^ H-;-kung, for repairing and 
beautifyiuif the temple of How-tseTh, saying, *' How deep are 
the reces-^es of the lemple ! how still and retired ! how firm 
the foundations, and how compact the roof ! (The mother 
of our race) was that glorious Keang-yuen, whose virtues 
were incorruptible, so that the Supreme Ruler regarded her 
with favour, and caused her, without sorrow or pain, when 
her timfj of pregnancy was fulfilled, to brin;^ forth How-tseth ; 
by means of him a hundred blessings have been vouchsrifed, 
fbr he taught us to distiui^uisfi the various kinds of miHet, 
and to plant the early and latter sorts of grain, on which ac- 
count he was promoted to the sovereignty of our slate, and 
carried out the merits of the great Yti." 

In the above pasiaare we are forcibly reraindied of exprewionf occur- 
iog ia Luke I. 29. 30. and cannot help recognizing, in the Siipr^m« 
Ruler of the Chinese cUisic, Him hj >vhose favour all blessings ac» 
crue to men. 


111 the p^ ^ mn,Suni? Canto, md the ^ ^ Heuen- 

neabu Ode, the people of Shang allude to their progenit^sr 
See, and his miraculous conception, in the following strain : 

" Heaven coinmanded tlie dark-coloured swallow to come 
down and produce Shang, after whi(-h those who dwelt at 
Yin wer^ crowded and numerous. At the beginiua^ (of i^w 
dynas^ty) the 'i^ (Supreme) Ruler ordered the martial 
T'hang (the founder of the Shang dynasty) to re.^ulate the 
borders throughout all the four quarters of the land." 

The commentator her« sayi, that the lady Kecn-teta, wag oflTerinf 
a sacrifice to Heaven, with the riew of obtaining a son, when a gwaU 
low let fall an egg, whiih Kiiea-teih swallowinir, brought forth Bel ; 
his son aft^rw^rds became the ancestor of the Shang dyn?i«ty. 

In the next Ode. called ^ ^ Chang^fa, the poat refers 
back to the ancestors of the Sliaiig dynasty, saying, 

" The ij^(Su|)reme) Ruler's decree was not opposed, until 
ChiUi^-t'hang appeared ; Ching-t'hang's birth was very opi>or- 
tune, and his sabred feelin;r of respect daily mounted (hiiher 
and higher ) until it reached to heaven, and continued loUT : 
towards the Supreme Ruler he was respectful, and the ^ 
(Supreme) Ruler directed him to become a pattern to the nine 

Hers reverence for the Supreme Ruler ii considered tb^ height ei^ 
virtue, which led to the appoiutipent of the person manifesting it to bf 
^ pattern to the #ra[iire. The word Ruler is here m elsewhere used 
iaterchangeably with "^upreme Ruler. 

Passing over from the Boole of Odes, we come to that of 

Rites, in the third volume of which, in the 3E wi ^angi- 
che srtct. and on the 9th pa-jje, we have the following sentence : 
" When an emperor is about to go out (to inspect the vfiri- 
ous states) he offers |^ a corresponding sacrifice to the Su- 
preme Ruler, he also presents a _g, suitable sacrifice to the 

^ lares rustici. and aceri-mony, entitled ^ drawing near, to 
hi3 aaoestors. Wijon a prine-. of th> empiiJ go3s out (to pay 
court to the emperor) hd otfers a suitable sacrifice to the^ar^^ 
rusticij and draws n^ar in worship to his ancestor^." 

Jt is well known that the Chinese h ive a notion that the supreme oi| 
^arth only is worthy ty otfer sacrifice to the Supreme in heaven, whli^ 
inferiors among men are permitted to worship those who are consider? 
ed inferiors among invisible beings. This notion, however erroAeous, 
shews what estimate th^y entertaiq of him whom they consider the 
Supreme Ruler. 

In the sams volunie, jj -^ YuS-ling, sect, and 43d page, 
we have an account of the imperial ploughing. 

*'On that month (the first of spring) th« emperor appropriated 


ill* first day for praying for grain to the Supreme Ruler ; he 
theft settled a lucky morning, when the emperor in persorv 
carried out the coulter and plough-share, arranging them be- 
tween the three persons riding in the chariot, and amongst 
the armed charioteers ; he then led forth the three dukes and 
the nine nobles, with the chiefs of the states and their great 
officers, who went in person to plough the imperial fi -Id ; the 
emperor gave the plough three pushes, the three dukes five, 
the nobles and the chief of thrt states nine, (after which the 
people completed the work.) They then returned and held 
up the goblet in the great recess of the ancestorial temple, 
when the three dukes, the nine nobles, the chiefs of the states 
and their great officers, all in obedience to the imperial com- 
mand, were rewarded with a feast of wine." 

This ceremony of ploughing on the first month of spring is still 
continued, and is observed, not only by the emperor at Peking, but by 
the officers of each district throughout the whole empire. 

In the same section, page 60, ihe writer describes what 
^as to be done on the last month of summer, saying, 

" On that month, it was commanded to the four superin- 
lendants to gather together the proper amount of provender 
from the hundred districts,, for the purpose of feeding the sa- 
crificial animals ; requiring the people, without a single ex- 
ception, to exert their utmost strength in order to serve the 
Supreme Ruler of the August Heavens, together with (the 
genii of) the famous hills and great rivers, ai well as the 
Shtns from all quarters, while they at the same time oflTered 
the accustomed sacrifices to the spirits residing in the ances- 
torial temple, and at the altars of the lares rusticij for the 
purpose of praying for blessings on the people." 

Further on, page 67, we have the duties to be performed at 

"In this month, it was commanded, to the butchers and 
chaplains, to go about and inspect the sacrificial animals, and 
see that they were perfect and whole ; to take account of the 
provender and other food ; to notice whether the animals were 
fat or lean ; to sxawine their colours, and arrange them accord- 
ing to kinds ; to ascertain by weight whether their bodies were 
large or small, and by measwrement whether their horns 
were long or short, and get them all of the middling kind ; 
these five things being found to be fully prepared and suita- 
ble, the Supreme Ruler would accept of them, (how much 
more, adds the commentator, the host of Shins.") 

In Vol. IV. in the section called jf{§ y| Le-yiin, and on 
the 48th page, after describing the primeval condition of the 
Chinese, as originally ignorant of the use of fire, living upon 
the uncooked fruits of the earth, and devouring the raw flesh 


of brutes, with blood and hair, whilst they clothed theaiselvet 
with skins and feathers ; the writer ^oes on to say. 

" Afterwards the sages arose, and I hen they understood 
the advantages of fire, moulding metal and formincf earthen- 
ware ; they also made terraces and sheds, rooms and houses, 
doois and windows ; they had moreover chops and steaks, 
with boiled and roast meats, added to which were wine and 
vinegar ; they proceeded to matjufacture hemp and silk, in or- 
der to make cloth and silk stuffs, that thus they might sup- 
port the living and inter the dead, as well as serve the Kwei 
Shins, and tbi Supreme Ruler ; for the accomplishment of 
all of which matters men are indebted to the inventors of 
these things." 

The disposal of the Kwei Shtna first, and the mention of the Su- 
prerae Ruler afterwards, in this instance, is probably for the sake 
of euphony, or to complete the climax ; for it should be observed that 
the writer is passing from the livinu: to the dend, and then on to the 
Kwei Shins, until he reaches the highest object of reverence, the 
Supreme Ruler. 

In the 5th volume of the Book of Rites, page 15, we rend, 

" Thus it was that the people of the Loo country, when 
they were about to do service to the Supreme Ruler, always 
performed a ceremony first in the princes' hall of learning ; 
so the Tsin people when they were about to sacrifice to 
the Yellow River, first presented an offeiing to the rivulet 
Hoo-to ; and in like manner the men of Tse, when they had to 
do homage to the great mountain, first paid their compliments 
to the Pei grove. For the same reasons, they kept the vic- 
tim (intended to be sacrificed to the Supreme Ruler) three 
months in the stall ; they also put themselves under restric- 
tion for seven days, and shut themselves up in seclusion for 
three days, all in order to shew the extreme of careful res- 

The commentator says, that this connects the idea of the former 
sentence, which speaks of two princes, when they viiit each other, 
shewing some gradation in the ceremonies they employ ; hence the 
writer gocs on to say, that in sacrificing some gradual approaches 
must be observed, from the mean to the honourable. 

In the 17th page of the same volume, we read, 

" Therefore the former kings of ancient tiraes^ esteemed 
the virtuous, honoured the correct, and employed the capa- 
ble ; they elevated clever men, and placed them in posts of 
usefulness ; they also assembled the multitudes and laid 
them under an oaih. Thus it was that, regarding (the exalt- 
ed position of) heaven, they served Heaven (with the highest 
ceremonies); and observing (the lower place assigned to) 
earth, they paid deference to earth accordingly ; alio con- 
,templating the famous hillg, they brought up the just actions 


(af the priac«s of the different parts) tp the attention of He^ 
ven ; and noticing the felicitous sites (of their capitals), they 
sacrificed to the 'jjf (Supreme) Ruler ar. the border of the 
country. When they brought up just actions to the notice 
of Heaven, the phoenixes and felicitous birds descended, 
while the dragons and tortoises approached. When they sa- 
crificed to the ^ (Supreme) Rjiler at the border of the coun- 
try, the wmds and rains were moderate, while the' heat and 
cold were seasonable. On this account th»» wise (sovereign?*) 
stood facini; the south, and the empire was well-regulated." 
On the 2l8t page, of the same section, we read, 

" To sacrifice to th^ *^ (Supreme) Ruler at the border of 
the country is, the extreme of respect; the services performed 
in the anrestorial temple, proceed from the extreme of b<*ne<.. 
volence; funeral crremonies indicate the extreme of fidelity ; 
the pre|)aration of the shroud and bier, arises from the ex- 
treme of benevolence ; the use of presents in entertaininof 
strangers, sh^ws the extreme of righteou«»n»*gs ; therefore 
when the «fOod man wishes to attend to the duties of benevo- 
lence and righteousness, he takes his foufkdation from the use 
of ceremoniefc." 

In the .5th volume of the Book of Rites, pa^e 23, we read, 

" In offeriuL' the celestial sacrifice a smaller victim was em- 
ployed, while in sacrificing to the lares rustici a full-grown 
ox was used ; so also when the emperor went on a visit of in- 
«|)ection to the princes, the princes prepared a young calf for 
liis food ; while on the occasion of the piinces payinjr cotirt to 
the emperor, the em()eror aave them a fulI-<?rown ox as a pre- 
sent ; the reason of the former being prepared, was to shew 
the importance of sincerity Therefore the emperor would 
not eat of an animal slaughtered in tlie state of pregnancy ; 
such animals also were not used in sacrificing to the ^(Su- 
preme) Ruler." 

The CQminentator says. When the essence of a thing is brought 
forward, the smaller it is tlie better, therefore in the two instances 
above referred to, the greatest honour was put on the smaller animals, 
and less on the larger victims. A calf has not the feeling of gender 
very strong, hei.ce it is said, that such a tender victim was employed, 
to shew the importance of sincerity. The word Ruler, here refers to 
the Supreme Ruler^ respecting whom Choo-foo-tsz^ says, That if .^e 

concentrate all tlve |(^ qQ inscrutjibilities and invisibilities of heaveu 
into one focus, {Mid speak of $ucb a being, we c»i| hi(P the SupreOM 

In Vol V. in the aftOt4oo entitled $B ^ ^ Keaou-t^h" 
sa^'^oj P^*® ^i) directions are given aa to what was to he 40iik« 



when the celestial sacrifice was offer' d ; on this Gcctinion 
How-tseth (who, «s we have seen, was the ancestor of the 
Chow dynasty, and supposed to be miraculously brought 
forth, was associated with Heaven in the sacrifice offered 
to the Supreme. Ruler, for this purpose two oxen were pre- 
pared, one for each ; respectioi^ which the writer .^ays, 

" When tlie ox dedicated to the service ofthj ^ fSupr'tne) 
Ruler is found to bi an infelicitous one, u-^e sho dd b* made 
of the one appointed for sacrifi<-in^ to H')W-t-?eih ; (or the 
(Supreme) Ruler's ox must be kept up in th3 stall for three 
months ; the ox designed for sa'-rificinjj to How-tseth re- 
quires only to be perfect in its parts ; this is th^ wav in 
which to distinguish between the Slin of Heaven af)d the 
Kwei of man. All things om? ori finally from Hiaven, 
and men spring orijfiaal I y from th nr first aiicestor : this is 
the reason why How-tseTh, ^the fir^t ancestor of the Chow 
dynasty), was associated witn th*. Supreme Ruler in sacri- 
fice. The Crtlestial sacrifice is imi)orta;it. b 'cau^e it refers 
with gratitude to the origin of all thii rs. ani turn^ tl)i atten- 
tion back on the ancestor from whom w j first sprang," 

In the above sentence, the differeiice male ber\vee;i the ox de'iici« 
ted to the Supreme Ruler, and that to How-tsein. is 8 «ld to be. to 
mark the distinctidn between the Shin of Heaven and the Kwei of 
man. The Kwei of a man. roust rf fer to the ghost of. How-tseih, 
and by consequence the S iin of Heaven to th^ Spirit wf the Snpremi* 
Rider. As this is the first instance in the text of the classics, in 
which we have met with the Suprem'*. Rub^r bein*/ called the Shin or 
spirit of Heaven, we will enter a little m )re fully into it. In the first 
section which we gave from the Book ofOles, the commentator 

gays, that the Supreme Ruler is vC iJcS ^1? ^^^® ^^'^" °^ Heaven, 
or the spiritual part of heaven ; and in tne commentary on the first 
sentence of the chai)ter now under consideration, the writer 8avs* 

^ff the Supreme Ruler is Heaven ; were we to collect the invisibdities 
and intelligences of Heaven toijether, and endeavour to express 
the idea in one word, we should use the term S^ipreme Rider '* 
From which we infer that the writer would consider the Supreme 
Ruler as the concentration of all the spiritual essences of Heaven, or 
all the vitality and efficaciousness of nature (in idea) brought to « 
focus, and constituting one Suprem- B'in,' ;^com^>inin,r tiie stiprema- 
cy and majesty of heaven, with the activity and animation of the encr- 
gies of nature. We do not know that the Chinese language ir* capable 
of expressing nirore fully the idea entertained l)y the natives of God than 
the above passage represents ; it has its defects, and its mistakes, but 
how could we expect a heathen unenlightened mind to apjxroach 
nearer to the truth. Ough^we not instead of seeking to discover its 
flaws, rejoice that so amch correctness is contained in the sentiment, 


and endeavour to make what uic of it wc can, in order to give tine 
Chinese a more consistent and scriptural idea of the Divine Being. 

In vol. VI. in the section called y^ {5 Ta-fo6, page 59, 
we have an account of the doings of Wob-wang, after the 
conquest of the Shang dynasty, and the death of the tyrant 

'* At the shepherd's plain occurred th**. srreat affair of Wob- 
wang. Having completed th<» business (above spoken of.) he 
retired and presented a burnt-ofT-riiig to t!l^i Suprenu Ruler, 
he likrwise prayed to the tare.9 rustici. and poured out a 
drink-offering at the shepherd's lod^e. Th'u leading on the 
princes of the empire who held th^ sacrificial vessels, and 
hastening to the service, he looked l)ack (to his anccstori) and 
hononred as kmgs T'ha^-winx. who was also ralUd Tan- 
fob, Wan/-k'h', likewise nam^d Lnh. and Win-wang, 
whosie private drt8ignat.i<m wa:? Chhan.?, that he might not 
bring those of lower rank into competition with the higher.'* 

Thii !iuriit-offering appears to have been offered solely to Heavea 
and its Ruler. 

In vol. IX. in the sect, called ^ ^ Peabu-ke, page 41, 
we read. 

" Confucius, when speakin? of the eood man being perfect- 
ly exact in his conduct, intimates that both noble and m'^jau 
should take tfieir part in the business of the world. Tims 
the emperor g^oes in person to plough that he might provide 
the contents of the sacrificial vessels, with the black millet 
and fragrant wine used in worship, in order to serve the Sn- 
preme Ruler ; and a:? a cons-quence of that, the princes of the 
empire are dilig-mt in helping and aiding the emperor." 

Here the Supreme Ruler is set forth as the chief ohject of worship, 
"Vfhom it is the business of the •mperor to do hig utmost in serving, 
in order to induce the princes to do their duty towards him. 

Further on. page 52, we read, 

" Confncius, has made the observation, that formerly, du- 
ring the time of the three dynasties, all intelligent kinfs 
(whenever they) served the invisible being* of heaven and 
earth, invariably mad^. use of divinations^ that they might 
not follow out their own private views and predilections in 
serving the Supreme Ruler. 

These divinations were for the sake of finding out the proper days 
for such services, and in order to ascertain whether the animals chos- 
en were felicitous or not. 

We now paii on to the Book of Diagrams, and in the 
^ Yd (concord) Diagram, page 46, we thus read, 

^' The form of the diagram suggests the idea, that when 
the thunder bursts forth, and the earth is moved, there is c<^r- 


rft«ponding concord. Thus the ancient kings invented mii^ 
sic, in order to promote virtue, and they especially performed 
k before the Supreme Ruler, whilst they associated with him 
in worship their ancestors and deceased parents." 

Tiie commentator on this passage says, that when the cartli if 
moved at the bursting forth of thunder, this is the essence cf harmo- 
ny ; the early kings invented music, w resemble it in sound, and al«o 
took from it the idea of concord. - 

The para},hrase says, Thunder, at its commencement, seems to 
have its sound concealed in the earth ; and when it burst* forth, and 
makes the earth rattle with its sound, it seems to arouse the harmoni- 
oa« feeling of heaven and earth, and display the vitality of the myriad 
of things, which is the very essence of harmony and the exhibition of 
concord. The former kings borrowed the idea of the rolling thunder, 
to suggest the notion of harmony, and thus formed instrumentf of 
music ; they composed odes and songs, which were played upon the 
harp and guitar, and to the sound of bells and drums, thus giving 
expression to their compositions ; they also invented dances and 
gambols, which were exhibited by the brandishing of staves and axes, 
with the waving of feathers and cow's tails, thus giving figure to 
their performances ; in this way they admired and honoured the ex- 
cellence of mental virtue, and the elevation of useful acquirements ; 
while music wat intended for the admiration of virtue. The court 
and government invariably made use of music, but the highest use to 
which music wat applied was, at the winter solstice, in sacrificing to 
the Supreme Ruler, at the round hillock, when the first ancestor 
was associated in the worship ; also at the third month of autumn 
in presenting offerings to the (Supreme) Ruler, in the illustrious hall, 
when deceased parents were included in the honours paid. Thus 
when music was invented in order to honour virtue, then human 
beings were harmonized ; and wh«n they played up music, in order to 
sacrifice to invisible beings, then jhei/ were gratified. So great is the 
merit of the ancient kings, in embodying the spirit of concord. 
• In the above passage, the highest use to which mucic is said to be 
applied was, in sacrificing to the Supreme Ruler. It is true they 
associated ancestors in the honours paid, but that was bt^ausfe they 
considered the Supreme as the origin of all things, while they looked 
upon their ancestors as the origin of their particular family. 

In the 5S Yih, or Benefit Diagram, page 24, we have a refe- 
rence to the use of this diagram " by kings, in the worship 
of the (Supreme) Ruler, which is said to be fortunate." Ths 
whole passage refers to the condescension of rulers to their 
subjects ; but. as the paraphrast says, " the Supreme Ruler is 
above kin-is, and all kings are subject to him." 

In the [^ Ting, or Caldron Diagram, page 40, we read, 

" The determinate meaning of this diagram has reference 

to the form of a caldron ; which, having fuel placed under it, 

may be used for cooking food ; the sages boiled flesh in it, 

in order to sacrifice to the (Supreme) Rulev, but the great 



boiling was employed for the support of the wise and good 
men (about the court.)" 

The commentator says, that the form of the article is here employed, 
for the purpose of explaining the meaning of the dia^ram^ and the 
chief uses to which the caldron was applied are referred to. In sacri- 
ficing to the (Supreme) Ruler, sincerity is the principal thing, and 
therefore a single calf was offered ; but in the support of good men, 
the ceremony of the stalled ox, to provide breakfast and supper, 
must be carried out to the utmost perfection ; therefore the provision 
for them is called a great boiling. 

The paraphrast endeavours to draw a resemblance between the 
form of the caldron, in its three leg?, round belly, two ears, and cross 
bar, to the numbers of the calculations employed in the diagrams. 
Besides which, wood being added to the fire, the food within Is 
cooked, and the use of the caldron is carried out. The caldron is 
employed in boiling meat for sacrifices and entertainments ; when 
the sages sacrificed to the Supreme Ruler, in order thankfully to ac- 
knowledge his favours, they used a single victim, and were obliged 
to employ the caldron in boiling the flesh, after which they could 
make known their sincerity ; also in nourishing good men, in order 
to testify a sense of their virtues, they prepared a feast ; on such oc- 
casions they were necessitated to make use of the caldron, to prepare 
the food, and then only could they shew their respect ; great sacrifi- 
ces and great entertainments thus depending on the caldron, how im- 
portant was its application ! 

In the above passage the motive and manner of sacrificing to the 
Supreme Ruler are hinted at, viz. gratitude for favours, and sincerity 
of feeling, shewing that they regarded him as the author of their 
blessings, and the searcher of their hearts. 

In the Fourth section of the Book of Diagrams^ 5th chap- 
ter, we thus read : 

" The ^ (Supreme) Ruler (causes things to) issue forth 

under the ^ Chin diagram (representing thunder, and cor- 
responding to the commencement of spring;) he equally ad- 
justs them under the ^ Seuen diagram (representing wind, 
and corresponding to mid-spring) -. he (causes them to be) 

mutually exhibited under the §|| Le diagram (representing 
fire, and corresponding to the beginning of summer ;) he ren- 
ders them serviceable (to mankind) under the J^ Kwan dia- 
gram (representing earth, and corresponding to mid-summer :) 
he (makes them to draw forth) pleasing words under the ^a 
T'huy diagram, (representing sea, and corresponding to the 
beginning of autumn) ; (he makes them to) contend under 

the ^ Keen diagram (representing heaven, and correspon- 
ding to mid-autumn) ; he renders them soothing and grati- 

jying under the ^ K'han diagram (representing water, and 


corresponding to the commencement of winter ) ; while he 
makes them complete the account under the ^ Kan dia^ 
gram (representing hills, and corresponding to mid -winter.) 

The commentator says, that the word J^ Ruler means, j^ J2 

^^ ^^ the Lord and Governor of heaven. Shaou-tsze adds the re- 
mark, That the position cf the diagrams, here referred to, are those 
fixed by Wau-wang, and are ascribed to the study of the later ages of 

The paraphrase says, The scheme of the diagrams invented by WS,n- 
wang, and belonging to the school of later antiquity, connects the re- 
volutions of a whole year. When Heaven produces and completes 
the myriad of things, at the same time ruling and governing them, 

*'he title given to that Being is the jff (Supreme) Ruler, whose goings 
forth and rcturnings are in some sort alluded to, in this arrangement 
of the diagrams, published by the school of later antiquity. This 
scheme commences with the Chin diagram, (representing early 
spring), when the (Supreme) Ruler issues forth, and causes the ener- 
gies of nature's mechanism to bud and move ; then follows the 

^§ Seuen diagram, (corresponding to mid-spring), and when the ener 
gles of nature's mechanism come to this point, they are fully developedi 
and well-adjusted ; thus the equable ^adjustment (of nature) takes 
place under the Seuen diagram. Next follows the Le diagram, 
representing early summer, and when the energies of nature's mecha- 
nism arrive at this point, they are brightly glorious and eminently 
displayed, thus the works of nature are mutually visible at the period 
of the Le diagram. Next follows the Kwan diagram, corresponding 
to mid- summer, at which time the energies of nature's mechanism 
put forth their utmost strength and fullest capabilities, in extending 
the means of nourishment ; thus the rendering of naturd's energies 
serviceable, takes place at the period of the Kwau diagram. Next 
comes the T'huy diagram, corresponding to the commencement of 
autumn, at which time the energies of nature's mechanism are fully 
complete, and becomes productive of joy and delight ; thus the draw- 
ing forth of pleasing expreBsions takes place at the period of the 
T'huy diagram. After this we have the Keen diagram , correspond- 
tng to mid-autumn : at this time the energies of nature's mechanism 
become severe and rigid, while the male and female principles of 
nature fight and strive together ; thus the contendings of nature take 
place at the period of the Keen diagram. Then comes the K'han 
diagram, corresponding t« early winter, at which time the energies 
of nature's mechanism rest and subside, and produce comfort and gra- 
tification : thus soothing* and gratifyings take place under the K'han 
diagram. Lastly comes the Kan diagram, corresponding to mid- 
winter, at which time the series terminates, and also begins afresh, 
conveying at the same time the idea of perfection and commence- 
ment ; thus the completion of the annual series takes place at the 
period of the Kan diagram. In this way nature's operations proceed 
from the first bursting forth to the equable adjustment, even to the 


mutual exhibition, in which we see the (Supreme) Ruler animating 
the issuings forth of nature's springs. After that nature has been 
serviceable to man, then the issuings forth turn round and look to- 
wards the retractings ; thus from the atlording of pleasure and the 
exhibition of contention, until the promoting of gratification, we see 
the rSupreme^ Ruler encouraging the revertings of nature's springs, 
and comiileting the series : when from the enterings in, nature again 
goes on to the issuings forth. This series commencing at the Chin 
diagram, ends at the Kan diagram, and completes the circuit of the 
year ; while the mysteries of revolution are exhibited in the midst of 
the whole. 

The next paragraph coutaitis a broader elucidation of the 
same idea. 

'• The myriad of things come forth under the Chin dia- 
gram^ which is disposed (in the scheme of Wan-wang) at the 
caitsrn quarter ; they are equably adjusted under the Seuen 
diagram, which is placed in the south-east ; the words equa- 
bly adjusting convey the idea of the purity and exactness of 
the myriad of things. The idea conveyed by the Ls dia- 
gram is that of brightness, when the myriad of things are all 
mutually exhibited, and this is the diagram assigned to the 
south quarter ; hence the idea of the wise kings of antiquity 
sitting with their faces towards the south to listen to (the 
complaints of their subjects throughout) the empire, and thus 
looking towards the bright quarter in administering their rule, 
is taken from this. The Kwan diagram represents earth, 
which affords nourishment for the myriad of things ; hence it 
is said, that the (Supreme) Ruler renders things serviceable 
to man under the Kwan diagram. Mid-autuma is the period 
when the myriad of things are delighted ; hence it is said, 
that (the Supreme Ruler) brings forth expressions of glad- 
ness, under the T'huy diagram. Contendings take place 
under the Keen diagram, which is the diagram assigned to 
the north-west quarter ; it means that at the period alluded to 
the male and female principles contend together. The K'an 
diagram represents water, and is assigned to the north quar- 
ter. This soothing diagram is that to which the myriad of 
things reverts ; hence it is said, he soothes living things un- 
der the K'han diagram. The Kan diagram is assigned to 
the north-east quarter, where all things complete their termi- 
nation ; this is also the point at which they fully commence ; 
hence it is said, that he completes the account under the 
Kan diagram." 

The commentator says, That the first paragraph of this chapter 
speaks of the (Supreme) Ruler, while this talks of the myriad of 
things issuing forth or reverting, according to the will of the Supreme. 

The paraphrase says, The *5^ J^ )|[^ wdnderful influence of 
the Supreme Ruler, pervades every thing without being limited by 


•pace, while the Iransformation and production of things has a certain 
order, therefore we may illustrate the outgoings and incomings of the 

*^ (Supreme) Ruler by the issuings forth and revertings of things. 
The budding and springing of the myriad of things is their issuing 
forth, and takes place under the Chin diagram , the position assign- 
ed to which is in the east, and the time accorded to it is the 
spring, when the male principle of nature springs and moves, and 
things come forth. When we see things thus issuing forth, we re- 
cognize the goings forth of the »flf (Supreme) Ruler. After things 
have come forth, they become gradually adjusted, which takes place 
under the Seuen diagram ; the position assigned to which is the 
south-east, and the period accorded to it that which borders on spring 
and summer ; at which time we may say, that the myriad of things 
are hash and new, and perfectly adjusted. Seeing things thus equa- 
bly adjusted, we recognize the adjustings of the 'fp^( Supreme) Ruler. 
The prevailing quality of the Le diagram is brightness, when the shape 
and colour of every thing is brilliantly displayed. The position 
assigned to this diagram is the southern quarter, and the period of its 
prevalence is mid-summer ; just the time when things are developed 
and clearly displayed. When we observe things thus mutually ex- 
hibited, we recognize the V^ (Supreme) Ruler, in their display. 
Carrying out this idea, the wise kings of antiquity faced the south, 
Avhen giving audience to the people of the empire, that they might 
carry out their government in the face of open day ; for they took the 
idea fr6m the position and prevailing quality of the Le diagram. 
The Kwan diagram represents earth, and earth is just the soil, (from 
■which things grow) ; the position assigned this diagram is the south- 
■west, and the time that which borders on summer and autumn, when 
the energies of earth are most flourishing, and all living things depend 
upon the fatness of the soil for their nourishment and growth. The 
Kwan diagram (or earth) puts forth its utmost strength for the bene- 
fit of living things ; that which is not sparing in the nourishment it 
provides, is this same Kwan diagram (or earth.) And its being thus 

enabled to nourish living things, is entirely owing to the one Tjy 
(Supreme) Ruler, who superintends the whole ; hence it is said, that 
he causes nature to be serviceable under the Kwan diagram. The 
position assigned to the T'huy diagram is the west, and the period 
appropriated to it is the autumnal equinox ; the prevailing quality of 
this diagram is delight, for when all the productions of the soil are 
well-housed, there is satisfaction and delight. Thus that which 
causes things to be delighted, is the T'huy diagram (or harvest,) and 
its being thus enabled to delight living things, is entirely owing to 

the one »^ (Supreme) Ruler, who governs the whole ; hence it is 
€aid, that he causes expressions of delight to be put forth under the 
T'huy diagram. The position assigned to the Keen diagram is tbe 
north-west, and the period appropriated to it is the bordering of the 
^autumnal upon the winter quarter, when the female principle of na- 
ture is more full, and the male is beginning to decline ; at this time the 


leaves begin to fade and fall ; thus the contending of the prineiples of 

nature, is a contending caused by the ^j (Siiprerae) Ruler. The 
K'han diagram, when viewed in relation to the five elen)ent8, is repre- 
sentative of water, the position assigned to it is the north Kjuarter, the 
period appropriated to it is mid-winter. Now when living things 
obtain water, they increase and grow, hence th s is the diagrana re- 
presentative of soothing and gratification, rest and preservation, in the 
day when the myriad of things revert to thtir root and give up their 

lives ; but still it is the ^? Supreme Ruler that causes them thus to 
revert ; hence he is said to soothe and gratify under the K'han dia- 
gram. The positon of the Kan diagram is the north-east, and the 
time appropriated to it that which borders between winter and spring. 
At this period, the living energies of the preceding year having been 
gathered up, this is the way in which they complete their termina- 
tion ; the living energies of the next year are again put forth, which 
is the way in which they accomplish their commencement. Thus 
when we see living things completing their termination, we recognize** 

the *||? (Supreme) Ruler managing their completion ; and when 
living things accomplish their commencement, we recognize the same 

fly (Supreme) Ruler opening out their commencement ; hence it is 
said, that he completes the account under the Kan diagram. 

Then follows a chapter referring to the ^ mysterious 
operations of nature, which, as it will be better elucidated by 
considering it in its proper connection, we bring in here. In 
order to understand it, wc must bear in mind that there were 
two schools which constructed schemes of the diagrams, one 
under Fiih-he, and the other und r Wan-Wang, the former 
called "5^ ^ the school of the earlier ancients, and the latter 

^ ^ ths school of the later ancients. These schools differ 
principally in the position which they assign to the dia- 
grams ; the one assuming, what the Chinese call, -^ Y& ^^® 
divided management, and the other ^ ^ the blended ope- 
ration. The position assigned by Fuh-he to the eight dia- 
grams, is as follows : ^ Keen, or heaven, in the south, and 
J^ Kwan, or earth, in the north ; ^ L^.. or fire, in the east, 
and Jbfj K'han, or water, in the west ; ^ Chin, or thunder, 
in the north-east, and ^ Seuen, or wind, in the south-west ; 
^ Kan, or hills in the north-west, and ^ T'huy. or seas, 
in the south-cast. Wan-wang's arrangement, however, was 
different; he assigned the Chin, or thunder diagram, to the 
east ; the Seuen, or wind diagram, to the south-east ; the Le, 
or fire diagram, to the south ; the Kwan, or earth diagram, 
to the south-west; the T'huy, or sea diagram, to the west; 
the Keen, or heaven diagram, to the north-west ; the K'har, 


or -^nfr diasram, to the north : and th^. IChn or full diagram, 
to ih<^ north-east. Wo mijst also notice a division of the <Ha- 
grani^, which is ref(MTe>(l to by the Chinese writers, viz. that 
info j)ar^iiis at)d chiUroii; the diati^ramg for heaven ar\d cartfi 
bein^' considered ih> narents, or major, and the other six, the. 
cbil(irf'n. or minor diagrams. Bearirio- these various arrange- 
ments in mind, we shall be better able to understand the fol- 
lowing account of the chapter under consideration, given by 
the Cliinese commentator. 

'•The scheme of the diagrams invented by the later ancients, 
speaks of the divided management of the six minor diagrams ; 
while that ascribed to the earlier ancients, refers to the mutu- 
al blending of the same ; the formation and transformation 
of the myriad of things is fully treated of in thic .scheme of 
the later ancients. The whole chapter speaks generally of 
the substance of their antithetical arrangement, and after-, 
wards of their uses when flowing out into action. The male 
atid female [)rinciples of naiur*'. can, when they blend toge- 
ther and co-operate with one another, produce and complete 
the myriad of things. On enquiring into the doctrine of 
Chang-tsze. regarding the one 0^ spiritual enersry, and 
the two transforming powers, we shall li'.ul. that the six mi- 
nor diagrams of thf earlier ajicicnfs, are respectively counter- 
parts of each other, hence he speaks of two transforming 
powers, which is the netting up o( the substance of the dia- 
gram.s. But the transformations referred to by the later an. 
ciefUs, which complete tli*. formation of tilings, are the trans- 
formations of the two principL^s of nature ; which is the car- 
rying out of these into their uses. It is then the inscrufable 
union of these two transforming powors into one^ which i< 

here called the j[j^ spiritual energy of nature." 

Having thus given read'^r the Chinese views of tht* chapter^ 
now to be treated of, we will proceed to set before him tho 
chapter itself. 

"The Up spiritual energy (of nature) may be denominated 
the most mysterious of all things : in agitatisig the myriad 
of things. t'lere is nothing more rapid timn thunder : in twirl- 
ing the myriad of things there is nothing more effective than 
wind ; in drying up the myriad of things, theie is nothing 
more parching than (ire ; in satisfying the myriad of things, 
there is nothing more gratifying than the deep ; in moisten- 
ing the myriad of things, there is nothing more humid than 
water ; in brin^in^ to a conclusion and again comtUMucing 
the myriad of things, thire is nothing more perfi^ct than the 
Kan diagram, (representing hills, and corresponding to the 
winter season.) Thus the water and tiro overtaking and 


Mending with each other, the thunder and wind ndt opposing 
one another and the hills ajid seas beiucr pervaded with ih- 
same breath or spirit, (nature) can perform her transformal 
tions, and complete and perfect the myriad of thinffg " 

The commentator says, - That this sentence leaves out 'the major 
diagrams (of heaven and earth,) and merely speaks of the mmor dia- 
grams (of thunder and wihd, fire and water, seas and hills,) in order 
to exhibit what is performed by the ifl# spiritunl energy (of nature) • 
yet the arrangement observed is in accordance with tlfe disposi^bn 
of the diagram, m the preceeding sentence, while at the close the 
xvriter explams their meaning." 

The paraphrase says, IheVsterious operation of the six minor 

}ial antithesis of the same as arranged by the earlier ancients. The 
changing and transforming of the myriad of things, while each cor- 
responds to its peculiar season without failure, leaving nothing inconi- 
plete, and constituting Itself thus, without knowing how it came to 
be thus may be ascribed to the |^ spiritual energy of natuie This 
spiritual energy seems no where preBent, ^nd yet there is no place 
^vhere it is not present ; it does not appear to act, and vet th-re is 

Vnnr^r^V^,f^''"''^^'i,"^""'^^"""^^^'^^^>' ^^ ^^^»^d the most 
rTd nf 1 ^'^"^-^ To arouse the living principle of the my- 
nad of things, there is nothmg so rapid as thunder ; the spiritual 
energy of nature does not agitate things, and yet that bv which the 
thuiider agitates things is this spiritual energy. To twlr'l about and 
scatter the concretions and knottings of the myriad of things, there is 
nothing so effectual as wind; the spiritual energy of nature, does 
iot twirl about things, and yet that by which the wind twirls about 
things, 18 justthis spiritual energy. To dry up the myriad of things, 
and harden and consolidate them, ^here is nothing so parching as fire 
(or the sun) ; the spiritual energy of nature does, not dry up things, 
and yet that by.which the fire dries up things, is just this spiritual 
energy. To satisfy the myriad of things and fill them to the full 
there is nothing so humid as water ; the spiritual energy of nature 
does not satisfy thmgs, and- yet that by which the deep satisfies 
things, isjust this spiritual energy. To complete and recommence 
themyriadofthmgs, to collect the existing and make it revert to 
the non-existing ; again within the non-existing to contain the germ 
of the existing, there is nothing so perfectly ad^te'd for effecting all the Kan diagram ; the spiritual energy of nature does not 
conclude and recommence the myriad of things, and yet that by which 
the Kan diagram concludes and recommences the mvriad of things 
is just this spiritual energy. But according to^he mysterious 

.i!c .^^w»^^''^TA^^^^^'^™*' as arranged by the earlier anci- 
cnts the Khan and Le diagrams, or fire and water being placed in 
antithesis to each other, the proper parching and moistening are fully 
prepared ; also the Chm and Seuen diagrams, or thunder or wind, be- 
ing made to correspond with each other, the proper degree of agitating 
and twirling I. prov Hied; further the Kan and the fhuv diagram. 



or seas and hills being placed opposite to each other, the just propor- 
tion of satisfying and completing is attained ; thus the placing of 
them in antithesis, in order to establish their substanc*, is just the 
causing of them to flow and move, in order to enlarge their use ; aftsr 
which [nature] is able to cause the male principle to change, and tlxe 
female principle to transform, to move and twirl, and scorch, and thus 
complete the commencement of things; to satisfy and moisten, to 
begin and finish, and thus complete the termination of things. Thus 
the scheme of the later ancients is not after all different from the 
moulding and circumscribing alluded to by the earlier ancients. 

It is evident, from the above, that the word Shin is to be used in 
the sense of the inscrutable operation of nature, and is to be under- 
stood as meaning mysterious and unsearchable. There is nothing 
of the antithesis between Hhat which is divine and that which is creat- 
ed,' nor do we read of 'that which is divine not being distant from the 
creature, and yet not contained in the creature ;' as supposed by some, 
who have quoted this passage with the notes upon it. 

. Leaving the Book of Diagrajoos, we pass on to the [^ ^. 
Tsb-chuen, or Tsb's Illustration of Confucius' History of his 
Own Tiiweg. 

In the 25th year of Seangj the duke of Lo6, we have an 
account of the murder of the ruler of the Tse country, by 
oneof hi» subjects, who, having set up a descendant of the 
deceased monarch on the throne, and constituted himself 
prime minister, caused the people to enter into a great, oath, to 
defend and support the new government. There was a phi- 
losopher named Yen-rsze at court, who disapproved of these 
proceedings, but yet did not think it worthwhile openly to 
Appose the murderer ; he therefore took the oath with limita- 
tions, as follows : *' Those who do not agree and side with 
tlie prime minister and his party (and here interrupting him- 
self, with a sigh, he looked up to heaven and said, If I also 
am not faithful to my prince and devoted to my country) — 
let them consider the Supreme Ruler.'' After which he 
«meared his lips with the blood of the victim. 

We merely adduce the above, as the only instance we have met with 
in the Tso-chuen, besides what has been already quoted, to shew 
that the Chinese looked to the Supreme Ruler to testify to their oaths, 
and revenge them if broken. 

We now pass on to the ^ |^ Chow-le, or Ceremonies 
appointed by Chow, in the first section, and 33rd page of 
which we read : 

"The lodge-keeper attended to the arrangements of the roy- 
al lodge, in order to fit. it up when occasion called for it. 
Thus when this king went to offer the great sacrifice to the 
Supreme Ruler^ he spread the carpet and table, and set up 
the large screen. Facing the sun the king sacrificed to the 

five '^iJ Rul«rs (who were supposed to preside over the five 



elements, and the five positions, viz. the four cardinal points, 
with the centre ;) he set up the great lod^e, and the small 
lodges, arranging a double awning, and a double table ; when 
the king met the princes of the empire, the same preparations 
were made ; on the inspection groundj he had to spread a 
canopy, and arrange a double awning, with a double table : 
and so on all occasions of sacrifice, he had to spread the sa- 
crificial tent, and at archery matches, to fit up a double lodge." 

In the 2d volume, page 1st, we have an account of the du- 
ties of the Great Baron, viz. 

" To employ felicitous ceremonies to serve the Kwei Shins, 
and K'hes, supposed to preside over the country :" he had 
also '' to employ a pure sacrifice, in order to sacrifice to the 
Supreme Ruler of the Glorious Heavens." Here the com- 
mentator tells us, that speaking of the form and substance 
(stretched over our heads) we called it heaven ; but speaking 

of the Lord and Governor of the same, we call him JjS 


At the end of this chapter we have some remarks by the commen- 
tator which must not be omitted. " The Chow-U sometimes speaks of 
Heaven, and sometimes of the Ruler, and then of the Supreme Ru- 
ler, and then again of the Five Rulers ; and lastly ofth» Supreme 
Ruler of the Glorious Heavens. Thus the Great Baron was directed 
'to sacrifice to the Supreme Ruler of the Glorious Heavens, with a 
pure sacrifice ;' and was separately required 'with an azure gem to 
do obeisance to Heaven.' So the keeper of the signets was directed 
' to use a quadruple sceptre, with a single base, to do homage to Hea- 
ven,' and was besides ordered to ' do sacrifice to the Supreme Ruler.' 
Thus then the Supreme Ruler is not identical with Heaven, neither is 
Heaven synonymous with the Supreme Ruler ©fthe Glorious Hea- 
vens. Again, * the keeper of the lodges had to offer a great s»crifict to 
the Supreme Ruler, spreading the mat and table, and setting up the 
great screen :' v^hile he had * to face the sun and do obeisance to the 
five Rulers, sitting up the great lodge and the small lodges.' So 
also ' the keeper of the wardrobe had to [prepare the felicitous robe 
for the eroperor] while he worshipped the Supreme Ruler of the Glo- 
rious Heavens, wearing a wide fur-dress and a crown ;' in sacrificing 
to the five Rulers, the same ceremonies were to be employed : thus 
it is evident, that the five Rulers were not identical Mith the Supreme 
Ruler, and the Supreme Ruler of the Glorious Heavens was different 
from the five Rulers. But is then the Supreme Ruler indeed diffe- 
rent from these ? The true state of the case seems to be this : Hea- 
ven is the general appellation given to the original energy of nature ; 
and the word Ruler is employed when that energy is displayed. If 
we speak merely of form and substance, then we use the word Heaven, 
but if we speak of the Lord and Governor of all, then we use the word 

np^God ; but when we want to speak of the splendour and purity, 
the elevation and eipaniion ot his energies, we call him the Supreme 


Ruler of the Gloriout Heavens. When, however, we refer to the five 
elements of water, fire, wood, metal, and earth, which are assigned 
by philosophers to the five cardinal points (or the four points of the 
compass and the centre), over which they are supposed alternately 
to preside, we then ute the phrase five Rulers : but when we wish 
to unite the idea of the glorious heaveni, combining it with the notion 
of the five Rulers, and collect all together into one object of worship, 
whose throne i« on high, and cannot otherwise find any single apella- 
tion for that Being, we then in one word designate him the Supreme 
Ruler. But we understand that the Glorious Ruler controls the five 
elements, and revolves the transformations of nature, while the five 
Rulers aid the Glorious Ruler in nourishing men and thingi, as 
children do a parent, from whom they cannot be separated. So that 
when K'hang-chung thought that * the Supreme Ruler was tynony- 
mous with the Five Ruleri, and not equal to Heavtn,' also when 
Wan<f-suh considered ' the Supreme Ruler to be identical with Hea- 
ven, and not equal to the Five Rulers,' they were both mistaken." 

We consider the above remarks as very conclusive, and go to ihew 
that by the Supreme Ruler, who was the chief object of worship, and 
whose throne was on high, controlling the elements, and revolving the 
transformations of nature, the Chinese meant none other than the Su- 
preme God. And we take the opportunity of remarking here, that 
though we have, with reference to the usual acceptation of the term, 

generally rendered the word Ajf Te, Ruler, yet there can be little 
doubt, but that in this connection, and in all the instances which we 
have adduced above, the word should be rendered God ; in fact T^, 
as we shall be obliged to confess in the sequel, is the generic name for 
God, and Shang te, by parity of reason, must mean the Supreme God. 
Oa the 16th pags of the fame volume, we read, 
" When the armiei march, or kings go out to hunt, they 
should make uie of a sacrificial animal at the altar of the 
lares and in the ancestorial temple, while they assign the 
places for the different objects of worthip. They should also 
use a sacrificd corresponding (to the celestial one) and ap- 
proach in worship towards the Supreme Ruler. They should 
likewise throw up altars of earth to the great Shins (viz. the 
lares and the genii of the great mountains), while they sacri- 
fice to the hills and rivers, where the army has to pass, in 
the lame way.'' 

On the 21st page of the same volume, we read, 
*' The keeper of the signets should then use a quadruple 
sceptre with one base, to do homage to Heaven, and to sacrifice 
to the Supreme Ruler ; also a double sceptre with a single 
base, in order to pay homage to earth." 

On the 54th page of the same section, we read further, 
'•'On all occasions of great sacrifices (to the celestial Shins), 
of religioui services (in the ancestoral temple,) and of ho- 
mage done (to the terrestrial K'hes), the worshipper should 
hold the clear fire and water (indicative of the sun and moon), 


wliile he preaents his prayers. When kings go out to war,. 
sacrifices should bs offered at the altar of the lares, and ser- 
vices performed in the ancestorial temple ; an altar to the lares 
should also be set up in the midst of the camp, while a sacri- 
fice correspo^iding (to the celestial one) should be presented 
to the Supreme Ruler." 
The Taoii-tih-king has only one passage, in which the 

word »^ (Supreme) Ruler is found, but it is of such impor- 
tance, that we shall give the whole chapter in which it is con- 
tained, in order to assist our readers to a right understanding 

of it. The subject of the chapter is Jg Taoii, for which we 
are at a loss to discover any single term sufficient to express 
the meaning. We have been accustomed to render it the right 
way, the fitness of things, the principle of right, &c. but w« 
are not certain whether it does not approach very nearly to 
the Logos of the Greeks, and the Reason of the moderns. In 
the beginning of the book, the writer says, " The Taou (or 
road) that can be Taou-ed (travelled) is not the constant 
Taou : the name that can be named is not the everlasting 
name." Upon which the commentator says, Ths Taou has 
originally no name ; it is called Taou, and no more ; if you 
say that it is like a road that may be travelled, then this is not 
the constant and unchangeable way. Tiie next sentence is, 
" That which cannot be named is the beginning of heaven 
and earth; that which can be named is the parent of the my- 
riad of things." Upon which the commentator says. That 
the nameless one is the Taou, from whence heaven and earth 
spring J while the one that can be named is the energy of 
nature, from which all things are produced. These sen- 
tences will give us some slight idea of what the Taou-i^sts 
mean by Taou ; we will now proceed to set forth the chapter 
firit referred to. 

" Ta6u is emptiness, and in applying it to use, men may 
perhaps be able to avoid extreme fulness ; it is a great deep, 
and apparently the master of the myriad of things." 

The commentator says, T»6u is emptine«s, approaching even to 
non-existenct ; and yet if you take and apply it to the multitude of ex- 
istences, it would without doubt pervade even the grandeur of heaven 
and earth, and the vastness of hills and rivers. Being immaterial, 
it seems as if it might avoid the extreme of fulnesg, A great deep 
conveys the idea of depth and subtility. The writer knew that 
Taou was the superior of all things, and yet not daring to speak di- 
rectly to the point, he said, it is apparently the superior of all things. 

Another commentator says, Emptiness refers to the emptiness of a 
vessel. The word " perhaps" is a dubious expression, intimating 
that the writer did not dare to be certain about the matter. The sub- 
stauce of Taou is emptiness ; when men make use of it, therefore. 

245 , 

they should study inanity, and avoid fulneis, because fuln«ss is the 
opposits of Taou. A great deep is that which cannot be fathomed. 
A master is the same as a superior to many subordinates. A superi- 
or is the leader or head of a class. Taou is the head of the myriad of 
things : hence the expression of the text. The ^yord " apparently'* 
also conveys the idea of indecision. 

<' We must break off the poiat, and unravel the intricacy ; 
Wd must blend the brightness, and assimilate the dustiness ; 
ilien we shall have the Taou clear, and it would appear as if 
it might be preserved." 

The commentator says, No man is destitute of Taou, but only 
saget can carry it out to perfection. They break off the point, lest 
it should pass over to nothing ; they unravel the intricacy, lest it 
should be dragged into connection with other things : not having a 
tendency to pass over to nothing, nor to be dragged into connection 
with other things, then external evils would be avoided, and the in- 
ward light would spring up. It is necessary still to go on and blend 
it, lest it should be altogether distinct from other things, and then the 
inward light would be pure. Dust is the most mixed of all 
things, but even dust should invariably assimilate with all other things, 
for fear lest it should be rejected from the number of things ; after 
this it may be perfect, and its clearness may be constantly preserved. 
But although it is preserved, yet no one knows it, hence it is said, it 
would appear as if it might be preserved. 

Another commentator says, To break, means, to break off. A point, 
means, an iron point at the end of a spear. Intricacy, means, knots 
and ravelings. Knots are untied with a horn, for which purpose 
the tip is used. Every point will after a time become blunt, and 
therefore it is better that we ourselves rub dff the tip; in order to un- 
ravel knots, we do not want it very sharp-pointed ; and then after all 
there would never come a time when it would appear to be blunted. 
To blend, is the same as to level, and conveys the idea of screening or 
covering the brightness ; it means, to bring it to the same level, so 
that there should be no diffei-ence. When a mirror receives a little 
dust, it is not bright : all brightness will after a time become dim ^ 
therefore it is better ourselves to obscure the brightness, that it may 
be assimilated to the dustiness of yonder (mirror), and lest it should be 
extravagantly bright ; then also after all there would come no time 
when it would appear dark. Now all sharp-pointed things will some 
time become blunt, and all bright things will some time become ob- 
scure, as the full will some time become overflowing. Bat the Taou 
abhors extremes, therefore the sharp-pointed is rubbed, that it may 
not be over-sharp, and the bright is blended, that it may uot be over- 
dazzling. The sharpness and tht brightnesss, these two " Thes" be- 
long to one-self ; the intricacies, and the dust, these two ** Thes'' be- 
long to other things. Former explanations combined these two sen- 
tences into one, and assigned one explanation to them, which was 
wrong. The four sentences mean, that in the use of Taou, ex- 
tremes must be avoided. Clearness conveys the idea of being settled and 
still. The essence of Taou is vacuity, and that constitutes the secret 
-of its preservation. It appears a9 if it were preserved ; and really 


there is not one thing preserved therein ; this one sentence shews that 
the essence of Taou is vacuity. 

The next sentence is, 

" I do not know whose son it (viz. Taou) is ; it is prior 
to the (Supreme) Ruler of the visible (heavens.) 

The comraeutator says, Although the Taou may be constantly 
preserved, after all we do not know what name to ijive it, and yet we 
cannot say that it does not exist ; hence the writer exclaims : Is not 
this [Taou] prior to the Supreme Ruler ? The Supreme Ruler is 
the beginning [of all things] ; and yet (for Taou^ to be prior to the 
rSupreme^ Ruler, would perhaps indicate that there was nothing that 
could take the precedence of it. 

The other cojnnsentator says, *' I do not know whose son it is ?" is 
the question. " It is prior to the Supreme Ruler of the visible 
heavens," is the answer. A son is one born of father and mother. 
The Supreme Ruler of the visible, means Heaven. The "visible" 
means the heavens? that we see. The Supreme " Ruler," means 
the Lord and Governor of heaven. The whole sentence means, " af- 
ter all whose son is this Taou ? Heaven is prior to the myriad of 
things, and yet Taou is prior to heaven, shewing that heaven pro- 
ceeds from Taou, and that nothing could exist prior to Taou." 

Without stopping to decide on the exact meaning to be as- 
signed to the word Taou, whether reason, the fitness of 
things, or fhe Divine Logos ; and without entering into the 
question of assigning to Taou a priority to Heaven or its 
Lord, we cannot help seeing that the word Ruler is here 
used for the Lord and Governor of Heaven, and that the 
Taouists understand that word, in the sense of the Supreme 

In the ::::i ^ JfS' to ^^^ kwan meaou king, a classic of 
the Taou sect, the ^ ^ Three Powers, rulinii over heaven, 

earth, and sea, are called '^^ 'j^'^^^'BS the Tri- 
ple Ruler, the Great God, and the merciful and gracious 
Lord. The title of the first is, ^' The upper chief, with his 
nine»fold energies, the Ruler of Heaven, who confers happi- 
ness, the gloriously spiritual ^^n^'^ Great God, of essential 
brightness, and arovernor of the purple jmlace." The title of 
the second is, " The middle chief, with his seven-fold energies, 
the Ruler of earth, who forgives sins, the profoundly spiri- 
tual 7C^ Grreat God of pure vacuity, and governor of the 
green dragon palace." The title of the third is, " The lower 
^chief, with his five-fold energies, the Ruler of the seas, who 

saves from calamity, the gold-like spiritual -j^ i^ Great 
God of profound darkness^ the governor of the dark valley." 
In the above titles, we cannot fail to remark on the use to 

which the word f^ Te is applied, and see no way of trans- 
Jatinor it. but bv renderins" it God. 


In an ode which occurs in the same classic, we have the 

title 5^ Jtfe ^J^ ^ f^ the God who is the ruler of heaven, 
earth, and sea. 

In an appendix to the same classic, the votary is told, that " if he 
•will recite this work, every word and letter of which is true, and capa- 
ble of piocuriug the forgiveness of sins and the conferring of happi- 
ness, then all the Jt ^i? Suprenoe Rulers of the various heavens, 
together with the sages of the ten regions, on hearing the recitation, 
will he greatly delighted." 

We quote this merely to shew, that the word Supreme Ruler is ca- 
pable of assuming the plural form, which some have affected to doubt; 
and to shew that according to the system of the Taouists, each one of 
the thirty-three heavens has its Supreme Ruler, who is supreme in his 
own celettial dominion. 

In the fl!^ jlllx§t i^ "^^'^ ^^*^" t'hung keen, a mythologi- 
cal history of China, which appears to be a work got up by 
the sect of Taou, we meet with the following expreisions : 

" The Supreme Ruler of the glorious Heavens, is the Lord 
and Governor of the three powers of nature, managing the 
very frame and axle of the universe." 

" Chuen-heuh said, You may sacrifice to the Supreme 
Ruler, and pay court to the host of princes." 

" Chuen-heuh, being apprehensive lest there should be any 
mistake about the yenrs and months in future, invented the 
astronomical calculations, and thus at the four quarters of 
the moon, previous to the time of full and change, people 
were able to go forth and welcome the coming period ;" a- 
gain, " at the solstices he erected an altar in the southern 
border, to sacrifice to the Supreme Ruler." Again " he made 
six water-pots, in the centre of which he did homage to the 
Supreme Ruler." Further on we have an account of what 
has already been met with in the Book of Odes, " the empress 
Keang-yuen, with the emperor, presented a pure offering to 
the Supreme Ruler, (upon which the commentator remarks, 
that there was no object pointed at on this occasion, but it 
was merely intended to refer to the Lord and Governor of 
high heaven.) When the sacrifice was ended, she went out 
into the fields, where she saw a giant footstep, and eagerly 
trod in it, whereupon she felt a movement in her body as though 
she had conceived, and after the usual period brought forth a 
Bon. Keang-yuen thought it was infelicitous, and improper- 
ly placed the infant in a narrow road leading to the river, 
when the oxen and sheep all avoided treading on it ; on the 
contrary, the animals cherished it, and removed it into the 
wood ; after this some people going into the forest to cut 
timber, observed a she-wolf giving it suck ; when they all 
shouted out and drove the wolf away. Keang-yuen then 



sent some one to look at the child, and finding that it was still 
alive, she placed it on the ice, in the midst of a river, when 
the birds collected about it, some sheltering it with their fea^ 
ihers, and some bearing it on their wings. KSang-yuen then 
thought that there was something miraculous in the boy, and 
took it home to nourish it." 

'* Shiin directed Yu to rcgulat*' the waters, and save the 
lives of the people, which work Yu did not dare to decline, 
and was just about to commence the undertaking, when 
some one announced that a priest 0/ Taou had come to pay 
him a visit ; on being admitted, the priest said, I have heard 
that you wish to level the country and drain off the waters, 
that you may save and deliver the people ; the Supreme 
Ruler has engaged me to come and assist you ; I have a 
signet, which, as long as you«arry it about with you, will 
enable you to pass over dangers without injury, also a needle, 
which will disrover the depth of the water ; likewiie a 
charm, which will enable you to tranquillize the water. Yu 
was delighted and accepted of the gift." 

Then follows a remarkable passage, in Vol TIL Chap. 5. 
page 6. 

" The Great ^ Shiin, observing that the seven powers, 
(viz. the sun, moon, and five planets) were all equally ar- 
ranged, knew that a celestial decree ordering this must exist 
somewhere ; therefore when lie took charge of the affairs of 
the emperor Yaou, he arranged all the matters relative, to the 
government, and sacrificed to heaven and earth at the round 
hill ;and after presenting offerings, announced (to Heaven,) 
the fact of his having taken charge of the government. On 
this occasion, looking up, he thought to himself, in this 
azure expanse of heaven, where the original energies of na- 
ture are thus bright and expansive, how is it possible that 

there can be no ^ ^ Ruler to govern all? he therefore 
thought upon an exalted title for this power, and called him 

^ ^'C -b '^ '' *'^® ^^o^ Ruler of the glorious heavens," 
and ^ 5E ^fC ^ " ^^® S^'^^^ ^^^ who is the Lord of hea- 
ven," as being titles most adapted for J^ 5C ^i?^ Heaven j 
from which we may see that Shiin's virtue united with hea- 
ven, and that he respectfully attended to the origin of thing* 
without being misled." 

In the Buddhistic Classics, we cannot at present turn to 
any passages in which the words Shang te arc used, but ki 

t^® )3^ Oa S£ Ciiing taou ke, a work belonging to that 
school, we have the word ^ Te, frequently prefixed to i^ 


Shth, and qsed in tlic sense of the God Shlh-kea-mun-a, who 
is ipoken of repeatedly as the^ ^C 3E Lord of Heaven ; we 
have also in the same book the expression 5^ ♦Jj^ used for 
the God of heaven. 
We pass, on now to more modern works, and taking up the 

^ ^ ^ ^ ^" ^^^''^ ^^'^ tseih, oj documents drawn up by 
and for the emperors of the present dynasty, sect 23, page IQ, 
we. find a reference rx> T hae-wanu', and his successors of the 
Ohow dynasty, who are said to be all *' under the in&pection 
of the Supreme Ruler, while they were placed over the inferior 
people." On the next page, the writer refers to the origin of 
the present Tartar family, saying that " the f^ "^ divine 

Iftdy, the "^ ^(^J celestial virgin, swallowed a red bead, and 
brought forth a holy son, (the ancestor of the present imperi- 
al funiily,) to whom the "^ (Supreme) Ruler gave the sur- 
name of ^ ^ Ghioro. (See a fuller account of this mat- 
tpr in Morrison^s View of China, for philosophical purposes.) 
On the 19th page, speaking of the good government of one 
j^f {he ancestors of the present family, the writer says, that 
'' bright ^parklings of glory ascendtid up to high heaven, and 
the Supreme Ruler adopted him at his son, until, after a suc- 
cession of years, Shiin-che, (complying with the wishes of 
the people, who had reverted to the great pure dynasty, and 
obeying the will of Heaven, who had rejected Ming, ) ascended 

jiie throne. He ascertained that the ijj^ §§ regalia of the em- 
pire belonged to him, and that the decree of the ^ (Su- 
preme) Ruler, no lonorer favouring the former dynasty, had 
regarded wiih complacency the Tartar race." 

In the ^ ^ f;f Yu che she. Odes composed by the im- 
perial family, section 1st, 17th page, Yung-chi'ng describes 
the otfcrinij up of the celestial sacrifice at the southern bor- 
der, at the period of the winter solstice, when he enumerates 
the glories of bii^ house, from his first ancestors to the period 
of his own rei^^n, thus expressing himself: '* Let the burnt sa- 
crifice ascend, let the pile burn brightly, spread out the sa- 
crificial vessels, let them be pure and clean, whilst that I, 
the insignificant one, respoctfully present my azure sceptre, 

and wait for the bright and intelligent ^fj? if($ spirit of the 
(Supreme) Ruler, to approach and regard the otfering." 

In section VIIT. page 19, of the sam^ work, we meet with 
the following: " How distant appears the canopy of heaven, 
when the sacrifice is offered at the southern border ; the 
worshippera stand in front with vcnfmtion and awe. whil^ 
the Supreme Rqler vouchsafes his i>rc;5ence." • The ancient 



ceremonies nre our pattern, 0!i this auspicious morn, whilst 
we strike up the musical stones, and the golden bells, and 
present the rich soups and generous wines ; on each side are 
arranged the eight bands of sombre-clad attendants, and the 
brandishers of feathers with their variegated hues; having thus 
invited the Supreme Ruler to paitake of the sacrifice, we al- 
so do honour to his attendant Shins; look down therefore on 
our purity of motive, and bestow on us a fruitful year.'^ 

In another collection of Imperial Odes, section VII. page 
19, we read, " At the celestial sacrifice, presented at the 
southern border, the offerings arc arranged, when the vases 
and vessels, though in conformity with ancient models, arc all 
made new ; at the period of the winter soUtice, and the se- 
cond day of the moon, the six pipes are all in harmony, 
while the season is again verging towards spring; having 
induced him gloriously to approach, we presume to say, that 
we have gratified by our sacrifices the Su()reme Ruler." 

In section 52, page 27, we have an Ode.entitled the Palace 
of Glorious Protection*, which says, " Again we come to the 
region whence our kings arose, let us then talk of looking up 
to the palace of glorious protection ; be respectful while you 
call upon the spirits at the golden gateway, be reverential 
as you gradually ascend the pearly steps, then reflect on the 
timewheji our fortunes were first founded, and looking up 
with veneration to the glorious canopy of heaven, remember 
that your holding the sceptre depends on the protection of 

^ the (Supreme) Ruler, and the establishment of your fa- 
mily on the throne is the result of his mysterious operation." 

In all of the above instances, the teims Kuler and Supreme Ruler, 
nre all elevated to the top ofthe page ; and it is evident, from the tenor 
of the whole, that the Chinese of modern days intend by these expres- 
sions the Lord and Governor of all things. 

Wo will now turn to the most modern book issued in Chi- 
na, where the publication ofa new work is a rarity, and in the 
15th Section of Commissioner Lin's Orography, we meet 
with a discussion relative to the religion of western nations, 
which is both curious and useful to our present object, in e- 
lucidating the ideas which the Chinese attach to the words 
Supreme Ruler and Heaven's Lord ; we shall therefore draw 
largely upon it. 

A person called Yang-seen-sang, of the Ilelh district, in 
Hwuy-chow, has undertaken to write a refutation of the er- 
rors ofthe European religion, in which he refers to a work 
published by LN--t8ob-pih, saying, '^ That Heaven's Lord, 
the Supreme Ruler, opened out heaven and earth, and 
produced the first human pair, male and female, who dwelt 
i.n the country of Judea, while the sturrounding countries were 


aU uninhabited. At that period men served one Lord, and 
honoured one religion, so that heretical and contending modes 
of faith had no existence. Afterwards men increased in 
ntimbers, and spread abroad on the face of the earth, until 
the eastern and western worlds were inhabited. " Now the 
student of history, says our objector, on examining the ac- 
counts of those early times, and comparing dates, will find, 
that the period referred to accords with the age of Filh-he, or 
thereabouts, when, according to the above account, China 
first became inhabited. Biit this he says, would be to 
take China and derive it from Judea, or to Judaize it alto- 
gether. The writer above quoted goes on to say, that " in 
the times of Yaou and Shiin, and during the three dynasties 
of Hea, Shang, and Chow, princes and ministers issued their 
orders from the court, while sages and wise men handed 
do-wn instructio!i8 to posterity ; every now and then alluding 

to Heaven, whom they called i^ the (Supreme) Ruler, in or- 
der to warn and overawe one another. Thus the Histori- 
cal Classic talks of 'luminously receiving the decree of tho 
Supreme Ruler ;' the Book of Odes, exclaims, ' Behold Wan- 
wang in the realms above, how gloriously do;:5s he shine in 
heaven ! behold him ascending and descending in the pre- 
sence of the Supreme Ruler.' The Luin-yiT also says, 'He 
who offends against Heaven, can have no one to entreat for 
him.' The Happy Medium declares, that ' the celestial and 
terrestrial sacrifices are those by which men serve the Su- 
preme Ruler;' while Menclus talks of 'rejoicing in Heaven, 
fearing Heaven, and serving Heaven ;' are not all these slen- 
der exhibitions of the religion of Heaven ?" (the title given 
by the Romanists to the Christian religion.) To which our 
objector replies. According to this, then, that which you call 
Heaven's religion was prior to the religion of China. Alas ! 
to what lengths do men of little minds go, who have no fear 
6? shame ! not thinking that the empire at present existing 
has been brought to its present pitch by the three emperors 
and five rulers of antiquity. But Mr. Tsob-pih woiild make 
out that the sage princes and wise ministers of successive 
jj^enerations are the descendants of his heretical teachers ; and 
that the Six Classics and Pour Books are but the slender ex- 
hibitions of his so-called celestial religion. In what way 
then would he distinguish the princes and ministers of our 
present Great Puro Dynasty fr6m the descendants of his here- 
tical religionists ?" 

After various discussions, the writer goes on to detail the 
views of Europeans regarding religion, as follows : — '■' Heaven 
could not constitute itself heaven, no more than the myriad of 
things could form themselves as they now exiyt : there must 


have been one to create all these thing:3, and a/terwarda tiiey 
roil Id be called into existence. Heaven's Lord is the i^rigitn 
of all existences : bis being it eausekss, while he is th6 cause 
of all being. He is far exalted above form or sound, &nd 
does not enter into the ranks of the visible and audible. It 
was He who out of nothing created all things : without riequir- 
ing the aid of materials or instruments, or the liipse of lime. 
He first made innumerable angels and disembodied spi- 
rits ; after which he formed man. But before he made man, 
he made heaven and earth, and the various kinds of things, 
to overspread and uphold, and support and nourish human 
beings : thus he first formed heaven and earth, and birds and 
beasts, and fishes and reptiles, and plants and trees, after which 
he made man^ one male and one female, named Adam and 
Eve, to be the parents of all living. Thus heaven had a begin- 
ning, but heaven's Lord had no beginning : that which had a 
beginning is produced from that which had no beginning ; on 
which account, the former of all things is called Heaven's 
Lord." After this the writer asks. " But who was Jesus ?'' 
To which he furnishes the answer : Heaven's Lord. Again he 
asks, *' But Heaven'§ Lord must be employed in ruling and 
governing heaven and earth and the myriad of things, how 
came he to be born into the World ?" To which the answer is 
^ven, That Heaven's Lord pitied the race of Adam, who had 
fallen into sin, and entailed misery on successive generations, 
and therefore himself became incarnate to save mankind. 
Again the question w asked, " When was Jesus born into the 
world V to which the answer is supplied, In the second year 
of Ga«-te, of the Han dynasty. Whereupon the Chinese ob- 
jector bursts out in the following strain. " Alas ! to what an 
extant do lies and fabrication proceed ? Now we know thai 
heaven it concreted and arranged by the two energies of na- 
ture, and is not created by any one. But supposing that hea- 
ven had a Lord, then all included in its overspreadings and 
supportings, throughout the myriad of states, and within the 
four seas, would invariably be under the government of Hea- 
ven's Lord, and there would be no such thing as his confining 
himself to the government of one little Judea. If he only 
ruled over the one country of Judea, how could he be called 
Heaven's Lord? Since he is entitled Heaven's Lord, then 
heaven above and earth beneath, and the myriad of states 
within the four seas, amongst the multitude of things, all 
would depend upon the regulations of Heaven's Lord. Now 
when Heaven's Lord came down into the world for 33 years, 
who managed the affairs of the universe for him ? and if hea- 
ven and earth had for the time no one to ruler and govern the 
universe, then heaven would not have revolved, nor earth have 


noiiriahed life, nor human bein^ been able to maintain their 
existence, nor vrould plants have ^rown, while the myriad of 
tliina^s would have been almost exterminated. When Heaven's 
Lord did come down into the world, he ought to iiave trans- 
formed those whom he casually met with , and have brought 
to the state of mysterious intelligence all with whom he con- 
stantly resided : he ought to have been an example of benevo* 
lence, and discoursed on forbearance, until he had brought 
the whole world to a state of glorious splendour : but he seems 
to have been ignorant of such great schemes, and to have pre- 
ferred the displays of little favours, such as the healing of 
people's sicknesses, and the raising of their dead to life, the 
walking on the water, and conjurations about eating; while he 
made it his business to save men from hell and get them to 
heaven. How then could he accomplish the happiness of 
a whole world, by abolishing vice and drawing over to virtu'^, 
in order to bring men back to the original state in which they 
were formed ? These people say, that Buddha is gone 
down into hell, never to come out again ; but who has seen 
this 1 Moreover Jesus himself, when on earth, was nailed to 
the cross, which was a being exposed to the tree of knives, 
and the sea of misery, in his own person ; how could he be the 
Lord and Governor of heaven, earth, and all thino^s, when he 
could not be the Lord over his own person and save his own 
life ? If he were the Supreme Ruler who cn^ated the world, 
how eould people have cut and hacked him as they chose ? 
These peopie rob and plunder the Bitddhists of their super- 
abundant froth and spume about heaven's hall and earth's pri- 
son, (heaven and hell) and yet they go and revile Buddha. 
Even the doctors of the Tanii sect never plundered Buddha, 
and yet railed on him, to such an extent as this. Moreover 
they draw expressions from the sect of the learned^ and yet 
they abuse the learned. Thus they are continually quoting 
what the Six Classics say about the Supreme Ruler, and in- 
sist upon his being the Lord of heaven, saying, The azure 
heavens are the servants of the Supreme Ruler. The hea- 
vens above lie partly to the east and partly to the west, be* 
incf without head and body, without arms and legs, thus they 
are not worthy to be honoured. Moreover the earth beneath, 
is what all our feet tread upon, and the place to which all de- 
filements flow down, how can that be worthy of regard ? To 
which we should say, continues the Chinese writer, that not 
to honour heaven and earth, and only to honour the Supreme 
Ruler, is reasonable, but to adore Jesus as the Supreme Ru- 
ler is unreasonable. For supposing Jesus to have been tru- 
ly and perfectly a sage of celestial virtue, he would certainly 
with one word have become an example for future ages, and 


with one act have diffused his favours over all within the 
four^eas. . In the same manner as Fuh-he and Wan^wang, 
iUustratrd ihe forms of the diagrams ; or as Yaon and Shun 
carried out 'n the utmost good government : or as the Great 
Yii drained off the waters ; or as Chow-kung settled ceremo- 
nies and music ; or as Confucius illustrated reason and vir- 
tue : all whicli were meritorious d«eds that will live for my- 
riads of ajes. Now did Jesus perform any one of all these ? 
If he considered it such an act of merit to heal people's dis- 
easei, and to raise men from the dead, thete were only mat- 
ters such as the great, physician Hwa-to, or such as priests 
and conjurers could perform, and not the business of a great 
sage; still less the business of the lord and ruler of heaven, 
earth, and all thin jfs. If he looked upon this as a merit, 
how is it that he did not exempt people altogether from sick- 
ness and death, which would have been a much greater act of 
merit. Even supposing that jthe spirit of the Suprems Ru- 
ler extensively pervaded each individual, and healed every sick 
person, and raised every dead person met with, still those who 
met with Jesus would be but few, and those who did not 
meet with him would be innumerable, where then would 
be the merit of saving the world ?" 

i^ominissioner Lin adds a note of his own. at the end of this article, 
to thr effect that, as far as he had read the Gospel, Jesus calls himself 
the Son of the. Supreme Ruler, while he calU the Supreme Ruler his 
Father ; but he says that he has not met with one place in which 
Jesus is dirtctly called God. 

A man of the name of ^ Jj^ Wef-yuen, of the district of 
SP K^ Shaou-y^ng, in the prefecture of ^ ^ Pabu-k'hing, 
in the province of ^^^ j^ IIo5-nan, the compiler of the 
whole work, in conjunction with Commissioner Lin, then 
gives us a long dissertation on the Christian Religion, in 
which he enumerates the books of the New Testament, and 
then details generally the lineage of .Jesus with the period of 
his birih ; after which he says, that his mother Mary mira- 
«!dou>5ly conceived, when she was informed by a vision, that 
her offspring would be the Son of the Supreme Ruler, who 
was coming down into the world, to eff-xt a reformation of 
mankind on behalf of Heaven. When this child was grown 
up, the writer says, he performed various miracles, which 
he briefly describes, after which, he says, that he wos cru- 
cified, and died, hut rose again on the third day, and au- 
cended to Hoaven, where he sat down at the right hand of 
the Supreme Ruler. The object of his incarnation and suf- 
feriuiffl, the writer tells us, was to redeem mankind from siri, 
and bring them to happiness and heaven. He then quotes part 


of the first chapter of Juhn. and triveg a sumnary of what he 
has gathered as the substance of tlie Cliristiaii Religion, com- 
mencing with the statement, that all the nations of Europe 
acknowledge and honour only one Supreme Ruler, besides 
whom they do not offer prayers to any. " Now the Supreme 
Ruler existed previously to heaven and earth, and there is no 
possibility of ascertaining^ fr(*m whence he canje, but it ap- 
|)ears that lie is omnis lent, onmipotent, and omnipresent, in- 
finitely just, supremtily great, all-wise, and all-true, on whom 
every man should rely ; for among winds and thunder^ clouds 
and rain, sun and moon, stars and planeti, planti and trees, 
flowers and erass, birds and beasts, fishes and insects, with 
whatever heaven over-shadows and earth sustains, there is not 
one single thing that has not been created by the Supreme 
Ruler ; hence he is called the Father of Heaven, the Saviour 
of the world, and the Holy Spirit, while in reality he is only 
one Supreme Ruler. Among the truths most important for 
men to know are, First, every man born into the world, has 
received all he possesses from Heaven ; having therefore re- 
ceived every gift from Heaven, then our bodies and minds are 
all sprung from the Supreme Ruler, and the Supreme Ruler is 
our universal Parent. Should not children, then, love and 
honour their parents? Secondly, Every inaa is possessed 
of a soul that will never die ; the souls of those who believe 
in the Supreme Ruler and practice virtue, will after death en- 
joy everlasting happiness ; while those who offend against the 
Supreme Ruler, and do wickedness, will suffer eternal misery. 
Thirdly, The Supreme Ruler has neither form nor sound, 
and lest people should be ignorant of him. he has given us a 
book, which began to be indited about th<i close of the Hea 
dynasty, and was completed in 2000 years. It is partly 
written in Hebrew, the language of Asia, and partly in 
Greek, the language of Europe." 

Then follow copious extracts from a ^vork published by the 
Protestant Missionaries on Theology ; succeeded by a brief ex- 
position of the Ten Commandment* ; and a tolerably correct 
view of the gospel plan of salvation, witliout any condemna- 
tory remarks, or attempted refutations. 

In the next chapter, the writer gives a list of the different 
works published by the Roman Catholics, on their first en- 
trance into China ; in commenting upon which he says, that 
these religionists were well aware, that it would not do to 
attack the views entertained by the learned, and therefore 
borrowed from the Six Classics the phrase Supreme Ruler, 
which they applied to the Lord of Heaven; whitS they con- 
tented themselves with attacking the Buddhists. 

Extract from tlie ^ "fj ^]r ^^£^ Chih-fang-wae-ke, a work 


of European origin, quoted by Commissioner Lin, in his 

" In heaven and earth the most honourable and most dig- 
nified, the true Lord and great Father of men and things, is 

only one, namely ^ ^ Jz,*^ Heaven's Lord the Supreme 
Ruler, besid'S whom there 's no other. He is all-wise, al- 
mighty, and infinitely good ; throughout vast and unlimited 

space, the hosts of [jjl^ J\^ ^ spirits, men and things, were 
all created by Heaven's Lord, and all depend upon his pro- 
tection and support: It is He that presides over the enlarg- 
ing or limitinij of the happiness and misery of m "U, therefore 
we ouj^iit to reverence and love none other than this Heaven's 

Lord. Biisids him, whether they be Ifiql spirits or \ msri, 
should they instruct people sincerely to serve Heaven's Lord, 
ih«y would be good msn, and happy spirits ; but should tfjey 
induce people to seek for happiness and avoid misery, in ^\\y 
otlH:r way, th^y then usurp tlie prerogative of heaven, an<il 
rob in n of his authority, thus constituting themselves with- 
out doubt wicked spirits and bad men ; to believe and wpr- 
phip such, would be none othcrvvi^e thaa evij. 

We have made the precediJig extracts, not so much with 
(the view of shewing what the Chinese think of Christianity, 
as ol elieiting the notions entertained by the present genera- 
tion of the Supreme Ruler, a.nd what they think of our prsac- 
iice \i\ adopLiiig the term lb will hi geei), by a review of 
what has been a.dduced. that tli,^ mo4era Chine«Q, like the 
.aiicjent, entertain the high jst veneration for Hina whpna they 
AiiUi designate the Supreme Ruler; that they consider hinj to 
hi the Supreme Disposer of all events, and by no means 
think of confounding him with any id^Is, or of associe-ting 
jhim in their id-5ai$ with the various fabulous deities who have 
had the epithet Supreme. Ruler added to their names. The 
Taouists, we know, have invented various prefixes to the 
name in question, and have erected temples to the honour of 

dS i^ _£ f^ '^he perfectly pure Supreme Ruler, ^ ^ _h. 
T^ the Supreme Ruler of the Golden Gateway, ^S J!^ J^ 
i^the Supreme Ruler of th^ Pearly Star, :£ ^ _jl *rfl* 
the Supre ne Ruler and Perfect Monarch, "2^ ^ h ^ the 
Suprerne Ruler of the Sombre Heavens •, but it is evident, th^t 
all these additions to the litle, are substractions from th« dig- 
nity of the individual intended, inasmuch as they limit or 
cn-cumscribe the rule of him, who, wheti tpoken of simply 
and alone, is above all rule, authority, and power. In fact 
with the exception of on-3 instance, in which the title Su- 
preme Ruier^ is appljed to the autocrat of the celestial empire, 


we have not met with a case, throughout the classical wri- 
ings, in which the title Supreme Ruler, without any additions, 
is not applied to the Supreme Ruler of "heaven and earth, 
who possesses all power, is entitled to the highest homage 
and veneration, is the origin of heaven, earth, and all 
things, and decides on thj fates of princes and people ac- 
cording to hia will. 

We will now turn to the Imperial Dictionary, in order to 

ascertain the meaning of the term _l ^ ShAng te, which 
we have hitherto rendered the Supreme Ruler. Under the 

word _£^ Shang, Kang-he gives the first meaning as above, 
upon, to honour, to esteem highly ; and quotes a passage 
from the Book of Diagrams, to the eflfect, that those objects 
which are seen in heaven, as the heavenly bodies, &c. are 
near to the upper regions. Under the second class of mean- 
ings, he says, that *' Shang means ^ Keun, a sovereign) 

and is the appellation of the jS^ J^ most high, and ^ ^ 
most honourable ;" thus intimating that the word Shang is 
capable of being applied to one most highly elevated, whether 
on earth or in heaven ; the expression sovereign referring to 
the former, and the phrase most high, to the latter. The 
ipse dixit of one Tsae-yung is then quoted, which says, that 
•' the Upper One, is he who possesses a station oi honour and 
dignity, and the term is used merely with reference to his su- 
premacy, without presuming to mention his esteemed appella- 
tion." In the third place, Kang-he gives the meaning to 

Shang, as first in order, with reference to days, as p ^ 

the first day; quoting a phrase from the Shoo-king, j£ j-] J^ 

^ the first day of the first month ; which K'hung-she ex- 
plains as meaning, the first day of the moon ; while Ye-she 
says, that it refers to the days of the first decade, as the first 

)j^ mow day, the first ^ sin day, and the first "J" ting day, 
A'C. (There being three of such classes of days in each 
month, these refer to the first that occur.) Fourthly, Shang 
i« said to be used as a surname. Fifthly, Read in the upper 
tone, it means to ascend, to mount, to go from a lower place 
to a higher one. Sixthly, in the same tone, it means to send 
up, or send in, as documents are sent in to the emperor. 

Seventhly, it is said to be synonymous with fpj Shang, (o 
emulate, to prefer. In poetry, it frequently changes its 
sound, but retains its meaning. Shang also means high. 
From the above we perceive, that Shangj when applied to a 
ruler, means the most high and most honourable; from whicli 
we are warranted in translating it, when ap- 


plied to Heaven's Potentate. In fact, Shang, a» an adjective, 
generally conveys the idea of priority and excellence, above 
all others • for instance, _|^ "^ Shang kob, means the high,- 
cst antiquity ; _£^ ^ Shang pih, th^ very whitest ; _fl JljJ* 
Shang habu, the- very best ; _j^ jQ Shang sze, a superior 
scholar ; J^ ^^ Shang haen, and j], *§* Shang kwan, the 
highest officers in a district or city; J^ Jj^ Shang tseang, and 
jl ^ Shang keun, the highest generals in the army ; _^ 
^ Shang p'hin, the best sort ; JP, ^, Shang tang, the high- 
est class ; _f^ 5^ S'Jiang yuen, and J[^ ^ Shang pun, the 
the highest origin ; _t^ 'Jj^ Shang Igw, the highest part of a 
river ; Jq Jj^ Shang che, the best kind of good goverriment ; 
Jtvv Shang jin, th^ best kirid of men ; JlfH Shang haou, 
a superior- sort of .anything ; thus also J;^ 5C Sh3,ng t'heen, 
means the highes.t, heavens^ and JQ ^ Shang te, the Supreme 
Ruler. See page 216, where _f^ Shang alone is used for Su- 
preme. In connection with this subject, see also John xix. ii. 
We now refer to the word *^ Te, as given by the Imperial 
Dictionary, where K'hang-he, in explanation of the term in 
question, adduces another word similfir in s;oun,di, and also 

in sense, to represent itS: meaning ; tbis^ wiord, is ^ Te, 
which signifies, to judge, to examine, tO; inspect, to aiscrimi*< 
nate^ to separate between right and wrong;. The primary 
acceptation of the word J^ Te, therefore, is a judg,e, and the 
lexicographer tells us, that it is a designation given to one wbo 
rules over the empire. He says; also that, it mean^ ^ keun, 

a sovereign ; and quotes a. work called ^ ^ ^ Pih-hoo- 
t'hung, which says, " When any one's virtue^ corresponds to 

that of Heaven, he is called ^ tq, a Potentate;" A passage is 
then adduced frqm the Shoo-kingj which, agrees in sense 
with the opening sentence of that work ; '*In former times Tp 

^g the emperor Yaou was intelligent and accomplished,, 
while his glory covered the whole empire;" to which an 

explanation is attached, implying that the word'^ Te,,or> 
ruler, is one of the names applied to Heaven ; adding tha^, 
the reason why the word Te is applied to human rulers, is l^e- 
cause they are the judges of mankind. Meaning that,, like: 
Heaven, they are dignified, and effect their purpose without, 
the necessity of mental effbrl; while they ar^ entirely divested; 
of selfishness, and extend their just rule to the utmost dis- 


tancc, examining and discriminating every matter accurately, 

hence they are called *t^ judges or rulers. The 3E ^ fiv^e 
rulers, of antiquity, in this resp6ct^ were one in principle, and 
were able to jud^e and discriminate matters, hence they took 
this title. Another work is quoted, called '^ Led-she's Illustra- 
tions Of the Spring «nd Autumn Record," which says, *' that 

^ T^, a ruler, is one with whbtil the whole empire agrees, 
while 3E w^ng, a king, is one to whom the whole empire ap- 
plies (for redress.) Kwan-ahft distinguishes these two appel« 
lations thus : '^ He who discriminates the right way is a judge 
or ruler ; while the man who understands virtue may be deno- 
minated a king or sovereign." A quotation is then adduced 
from history, stating that Hari-kaou-tsob (B. C. 202), 

" ascended the throne of the ^ ^ hwang te, emperor, at 
the south side of the rivar Sz^. " Upon which Tsatj-yun;^ 
remarks, " that in the earliest antiquity, emperors were entitled 
^ hwang, great ones ; but subsequently they were styled 'j^ 
te, rulers." Having gone through thii first class of meanings, 
We find that the prevailing idea attached to the word Te, is 
that of judge and ruler, while the commentators tell us, 
that the term was originally applied to Heaven, as the Ruler 
and Judge o( mankind, but was accommodated to human ru- 
lers, when they at all resembled the Divine Potentate, in the 
majesty and disinterestedness with which they carried out 
their rule. We cone^ive, therefore, that we are warranted 
in rendering it in our language by the word God, the univer- 
sal Ruler and Judge of all. In the second class of mean- 
ings, K'hang-he gives the sense of '^ Te, when employed 
by the writers of epitaphs ; in which case he says, those whose 
virtue resembled that of heaven and earth were called Te, 
gods. In the third class of meanings^ the lexicographer 

gives us the phrase _J^ ^ Shang-te, which he says is sy- 
nonymous with Heaven. In this he means of course the ru- 
ling power of heaven, and not the visible heavens. The Chi- 
nese have been accustomed (like most other nations) to speak 
of the Supreme under this emblem ; but finding that it was 
difficult to attribute qualities and acts, mind and will, to Hea- 
ven, they adopted the expression p ^Supreme Ruler, which 
we must take to mean the personification of the ruling pow- 
er and supreme authority re&iding in heaven, and disposing 
of the affairs of men. The most just and natural rendering 
of the term Shang-te, is therefore the Supreme God. Under 
this head, the lexicographer quotes two passages from the 
classics, which having already been considered, there is no ne- 
cessity to refer to them again. Among the fourth class of 


meanings, under the word ^te, K'hang-he gives g£ ^ wob 
te, the five gods, which he says, are the names of invisible be- 
inga ; or^as some would render it, of gods. He then quotes 
^he Wi DS Ceremonies of Chow, which speak of sacrificing 
to the 5K ^ five goda at the four borders of the land. 
These five gods, the commentator tells us, are the following j 
the ^ w azure god, whose name is ^ J^ |fp Ung-wei- 
S^^S I ^ *^ tJie red god, whose name is iff '^^ Tseth- 
p'heaou-noo ; the ^ ^ yellow god, whose nams is -^ ^f^ 
^ Shay-keu-new ; the ^ '^ white god, whose name is ^ 
i^ ^ pih-chaou-keu ; and the ^ ^ black god, whose 
name is ^ 3fe /^B Helh-kwang-ke, A quotation then fol- 
lows from the ^ ^ Family Sayings of Confucius, where 
K'he-kang-lszb asked the name of the 3E ^ five gods ? to 
which Confucius replied, " In heaven there are five elements, 
such as metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, which are distribu- 
ted over the various seasons, to promote tiansformation and 
nourishment, in order to complete the myriad of things ; the 
%VH invisible beings presiding over which are called 3l ^ 
the five gods." (See page 73.) From the above we perceive, 
that the word *i^ Te is capable of being applied to subordinate 
deities, or invisible beings who have charge over the five ele- 
ments, represent the five colours, and are sacrificed to at the 
five seasons ; hence we infer that the word in question not on- 
ly signifies the Supreme God, particularly when the epithet 
S hang (Supreme) is prefixed, but that it is a generic name for 
God ; and is applicable to both high and low deities, accord- 
ing to the epithet annexed, or the connection in which it is 
found. That it is also applied to human rulers, is no argument 
against its employment to designate celestial deities, because 
the lexicographer tells us, that the word originally applied to 
the ruler of heaven, and was only accommodated to designate 
the potentates of earth, when they were supposed to resem- 
ble the Supreme Ruler. In the same way the word Theos 
and DeiLs^ in Greek and Latin, were sometimes applied to hu- 
man rulers, though in their primary signification those terms 
w«re intended to convey a higher sense. Thus Strabo talks 
of Ho Theos Kaisar^ the God Cajsar.* Under the fifth class 

* In the view above given of the meaning of T^, we see how ex- 
actly it corresponds with the word Elohim^ occurriug in the Hebrew 
Scriptures, as referring occasionally to kings and judges, to gods 
and deities in general, as well as to the one Supreme Potentate, who 
rules over all. 


of meanings, Kang-he $aya, that f^ te is tfte name of a 
star ; quoting in proof a historical work, which iays, " The 
star of the central mansion and the extreme pole of tlie heavens 
is where jj^ Zl Alpha in Draco,* the singularly bright one, 
constantly resides." Upon which a commentator remarks, 

that Wan-yaou-keu says. The essence of J^ '^ Alraccaba, 
of the central mansion, is the present polar star ; while ano- 
ther writer testifies, that the position of "TC ^ Alraccaba, of 
the polar regions, was once the same with ^ 2L Alpha in 
Draco ; which a commentator would explain to mean, that 

p5v Zl Alpha in Draco is only another name for Alraccaba, 
in Ursa Minor ; in which, however, he is mistaken. Again, 

K'hang-he says, that ^ ^ Arcturus, in Bootes, is the divine 
palace of the king of heaven ; upon which the commentator 
remarks, that according to S5-yin, who quotes the Yuen-shtn- 
k'he, Arcturus is the place where ho sits to give audience ; 
while Sung-keun says, that the seat referred to is the divine 
throne. Further, tha lexicographer adduces a passage to 
say, that in the hall of the three bright ones, about the con- 
stellation Hercules, there are five stars, which are called 32 

W ]^ ^^^ throne of the five Tes, or Ras algethi, and the 
stars in the neighbourhood. Thus, in this acceptation, the 
word Te is merely to be understood as the name of a star ^ 
while, in treating of the same, expressions are employed, 
which intimate that the original meaning of Tc is retained, 
even when its use is thus varied. Under the sixth head, 

K'hang-he tells us, that ^ Te is sometimes used for tlie 
name of a place. 

The following article was written on the subject of the Su- 
preme Ruler by a Chinese, named ^^5C ^&^^^ t'heen sin, 
who has received Christian instruction. 

" Among the most honourable, there is none to be compar- 
ed with the Supreme Ruler, and amidst those possessed of au- 
thority, there is none equal to the Highest Potentate. The 
•Supreme Ruler's dignity should be universally venerated, 
and his righteous dealing everywhere known. Now in 

the world, there are many who bear the name of 'q? gods, 
(a number of whom he enumerates,) but these are all dif- 
ferent from the Supreme Ruler. With reference to the vi- 
sible expanse, men use the word ^ Heaven ; with respe«t to 
what is carried on around us, they employ the term ^W 

* In the year of the world 1704, alpha in Draco was the polar star. 


the tnieGod or spirit ;* and alluding to the universal Poten- 
tate, they designate him the _£^ *^ Supreme Ruler. The 
Supreme Ruler ia incorporeal and immaterial ; before hea- 
ven, earth, and all things came into being, the Supreme 
Ruler existed j the great Lord and Oover nor, who created 
and governs heaven, earth, and all things, is called J^ fff 
Shang te, the Supreme Potentate. But why is he called 'flj 
Te 1 Some say, that the meaning of ^ Te, is one who 
governs ; and because he presides over all under heaven, 
therefore he is called the Governor of the world. Others say, 

that the idea to be attached to "'i^ Te, is one who judges, 
and he is called the Supreme Jud^e, because he justly, and 
universally, judges all things, hence he is called the Judge* 

The meaning of ^ Te is thus two-fold, but the primary ac- 
ceptation being that of the Lord and Governor of all things, 
he is therefore called the Potentate. But why is the word 
Supreme prefixed to that of Ruler 1 We should answer, 
that corrupt devils have no ^J efficaciousnesg, while the Su- 
preme Ruler is alone efficacious, (in granting answers to 
prayer,) and the word Supreme is attached, to shew His effi- 
caciousnesg. All the Shins (or genii) are ignoble, but the 
Supreme Ruler is alone honourable ; the word Supreme 
is therefore added, to indicate his dignity. Invisible beings 
in general are without authority, and the Suprems Ruler ia 
possessed of unlimited authority ; therefore the word Supreme 
is put firit, to indicate that he is the head of all authority 
and power. In such a being love should exist, sufficient to 
benefit mankind, and the love of the Supreme Ruler is exten- 
sive and abundant; in Him virtue should be apparent, calcu- 
lated to illumine the world witii its glory, and the virtue of 
the Supreme Ruler is exalted and resplendent: in Him 
there should be wisdom, adequate to instruct all generations, 
and the wisdom of the Supreme Rulsr is distant and long, 
continued ; in Him there should be power, sufficient to res- 
train the wills of men, and the power of the Supreme Ruler 
is undivided and unique. To his glory, nothing can be su- 
peradded, and in his thione he has no competitor ; hence he 
is said to be high and exalted above all, while he looks down 
to contemplate the surrounding world •. and when we wish to 

* The phrase 1^ [[{^ Chin shin, true God, is not a Chinese collo- 
cation, but baring been used by the Missionaries, with whom the 
writer of the above essay had been much associated, he employs it out 
of deference to them ^ and attaches to it, doubtless, the meaning above- 


ackobwledge his greatness, and find that the Glorious Heff- 
vens are uneqiml' to the comimrison, we then use the^ ward 
Supreme, to designate him. Thus viewing it, and havinfg^ 
in this way illustrated the meaning of the words, we jSnid 
that the appellation of the Supreme Ruler most truly at- 
taches to Him, and the throne of the Highest Potentate moat 
assuredly belongs to Him ; while what the men of this world 
call Shins, are only sprites and clvies,, and ghosts, and hah- 
gablins, which cannot afford protection and happiness to 
men, nor be for a moment compared to, or put upon an 
equal footing^ with the Supreme Ruler? In the creation of 
heaven and earth, the sun and moon, hills- and vallies, rivers 
and seas, we. certainly perceiTe the wonderful power of the 
Supreme Ruler; in the agitating and moving of the winds 
and clouds, the rain and dew, the frost, and snow, the thun- 
der and lightning, we also see the subtile and genial influ- 
ences of the Supreme Ruler ; at hiar impulse the first origin 
of the superior principle of nature sprang into existence, 
and the original constitution of the inferior principle came 
into being ; the first uniting and transforming of heaven a- 
bove, and earth beneatii, with the rayriiad of things scattered 
about, and flowing on without intermission, was donbtless 
inconsequence of the regulation and control of the Supreme 
Ruller, and suMpct to the presiding- government of the Highest 
Potentate. Tnas in the Six Classics there are many refferences' 
to: the Supreme Ruler ; such as, " The sacrifice ccfrrcsponding' 
to the celestial one was orflered to the SupremeiRuref ,-" a- 
gaih, '"Present a pure offering to the SupremeRul'er ;" both 
which sentences intimate the extreme of respect, with: which 
the ancients honoured the Highest Potentate. Again, "Lu- 
minously serve the Supreme Ruler," and " res pectf\ill'y receive 
(The decree) from the Supreme Ruler," which refer tbthe high 
veneration in which they held the Majesty of the Universe*. 
Further, " How glorious is the Su()reme Ruler !" and " how- 
intelligent is* the\ unLyeraal Potentate !" referring to his om- 
nisciencei Do- not say, no one: hears me; for the Classic > 
avers that'* the Supreme Ruler comes near to you ;" do not say, 
no one sees me-; for the Classic again says, " the Supreme Ru- 
ler is on our ri^t hand," which phrases refer to his omnipre> 
sence* The Classics also say, " that the sages,exort their int- 
fluence, to* sacrifice; to the Supreme Ruler," and "attlie 
winter* solstice pay their vows to Heaven at the round, hilr 
lock' ;'' all' which means, that the ancientworthies honoured 
and worshipped the Supreme Ruler. Moreover he who vast- 
ly illumines the glorious heavens, without error or mis^ 
take; is the Supreme Ruler ; he who shakes by his wrath; 
tlie august heavens^ killing siad: iri'dUAn^:idiy.Q whom he will, 


is the Suprenn Ruler. Besides which, the conferring happi- 
ness on the good and misery on the bad, depends on the in- 
sjjection and examination of the Supreme Ruler ; the ap- 
plauding of virtue K\d the punishing of vice, rests with the 
majesty and authority of the Supreme Ruler ; therefore when 
any one's mental qualities are excellent and clear, the Su- 
preme Ruler draws forth his mind and removes impediments 
out of his way ; so also when any one's views are purposely 
confused and disturbed, the Suprisme Ruler takes away his 
privileges, and deprives him of the light he had; the sending 
down of this encouragement upon tho3« who need nourish- 
ment in virtue, and the inflicting of this great calamity on 
those who will not follow the right path, are severally the 
ways in which the Supreme Ruler warns and alarms tlie 
mon of little minds. Ought not the people of the world, 
tiierefore, to hoi. our and worship the Supreme Ruler, and 
comply with the heaven-appointed way 1 Thus it is, that 
thvi good man, in holding intercourse with mankind, should 
constantly guard against idle wandering and empty pleasure ; 
while the way in which he venerates the Supreme Ruler is, 
by the employment of correct conduct and rigid respect, look- 
ing up to Him for protection and aid, without a single 
thought of insirwerity ; so also in communion with the invi- 
sible world, he should perpetually avoid indolence and neg- 
lect, while the way in which he honours the E/^h Potentate 
is by the display of reverential regard and dNfe, keeping hist 
thoughts perpetually upon Him, without a single moment's 
indifference. This is the way in which the good man exhi- 
bits respect and caution, in waiting for Heaven's blessing, 
and submitting to the inspection of the Supreme Mind; but 
thoie men of the world do not understand the righteousness 
of the Supreme Ruler, and not venerating the High Poten- 
tate, how can they minutely enquire into his righteous deal- 
ings ?" 

We add another paper from ^]5 Q ]^ Ching jih ping,. 
on the difference between the Supreme Ruler and the Shtns. 
" The Suprem^^. Ruler, is the Great Lord and Governor of 
heaven and earth, a distinction to which the Shtns cannot 
pretend. The Supreme Ruler existed before heaven and 
earth; he is omniscient and omnipotent; while the myriad 
of things are the result of his miraculous energy. The Shins, 
existed subsequently to heaven and earth, and can of them- 
selves know nothing and do nothing, of whom wooden ima^ 
ges are the fit representatives. Thus we lee a manifest dif- 
ference, and it is hard to be deceived in mistaking one for the 
other. The Classics, in speaking of the Supreme Ruler, say,, 
that "he is gloriously displayed above;" but when they 


^rcat of the Kwei Shtns, they are vaorue in their expressions, 
and wantinor in proof. B'^fore the Goapel was handed down, 
men's minds were much in the dark, so tliat they were delu- 
ded into the bel ief of corrupt Shins, and deceived by the de- 
vil ; until they served carved and molten images, without 
knowing what they were about. Those who sought for hap- 
piness, early and late consulted the divinations ; while those 
who were fond of seduction, knocked head at the new and full 
moon. Those who went to extremes presented incense and 
worshipped Buddha, continually borrowinsr assistance from 
the nuns ; they also observed fasts and abstinences, giving 
themselves over to the direction of the priests ; thinking that 
their merit was still incomplete, men sought to be changed in- 
t^o demons and elves ; and eagerly enquiring after the way 
of pardon, every one of them inclined to become genii and 
foiries. Worse than this ; the more extravagant and volup- 
tuous, on a pretext of burning incense, merely went to look at 
the crowds, while the abandoned and licentious priests got up 
meetings with the view of entrapping young females ; suppos- 
i'flg their Shins to have the least knowledge, they could not en- 
dure such things, and thus it is that the beautifully adorn- 
ed temples have been converted into mere willow groves ; and 
the supposed virtues or vices of devotees, have failed of meet- 
ing with the expected rewards and punishments. From this 
we may know, that betwixt heaven and earth, there is only 
one Supreme Ruler, and besides Him all are corrupt Shins. 
For the Supreme Ruler possesses power to renumerale with- 
out fail, while thos'J depraved Shins, with their little arts, 
have no ability to bring down blessings or curses ; if we o- 
bey the will of the Supreme Ruler, in order to cultivate vir- 
tue, we may attain to the highest heaven and enjoy endless 
bliss ; but if we believe the delusions of vicious Shins, and 
act accordingly, we shall find it diffi:ult to escape the lowest 
hell, where we shall suifcr torment without end. I have 
heard, that in the 2d year of He, the duke of Lob, the ^J^ lares 
rustici of the city of Po, were involved in calamity : now 
what are the lares but Shins ? and if it was a difficult mat- 
ter to exempt the lares of P6 from trouble, how could these 
again protect the black-haired people, and deliver them from 
woe? The good man, on reading this, may know that the 
Shins have no knowledge, a'ld are destitute of power ; from 
which we may infer the duty of worshipping the Supreme 
Ruler alone. I will therefore add aline of poetry ; When 
the Supreme Ruler vouchsafes his presence, do not blind 
yourself to his glories; when depraved Shhis delude you, 
do not fall into their malpractices; if for one day you do 

II h 


wickedriess, a hundred punishments will bs inflicted on you ; 
st«rn and severe, heaven's mirror is here. Again I would 
offer a couplet, Virtue is followed by blessings, and vice by 
curses ; Heaven's ways are thus illustrated, without the slight- 
est mistake ; therefore worship the Supreme Ruler, and act 
according to the proper rites, when he will protect and con- 
fer on you endless happiness.'- 

In reviewing what has been adduced from Chinese authors, 
on the subject of the Supreme Ruler, or God, we find that the 
ideas elicited may be distributed under the following heads : 

1. His existence is argued (p. 185) from the expression of 
the Book of Odes, " that the spirit of Wan-wang was Ion g 
after his death, ascending and descending in the presence of 
the Supreme, which could not have been true, unless the Su- 
preme Ruler were himself in existence, and maintainod his 
throne in heaven." 

2. His incorporeality is alluded to (p. 247), where the com- 
mentator on the Chow-le fays, that when the Emperor of- 
fered a pure sacrifice to the Supreme, no object was pointed 
at on the occasion, but it was merely intended to refer to 
the Lord and Governor of the high Heavens. 

3. The mind of the Supreme is distinctly recognized (p. 
209) as inspecting the virtues and vices of mankind. 

4. He is spoken of as a jji^ spiritual and intelligent being, 

(p. 156), that cannot be deceived (p. 157) ; his jj|^ spirit 
is supposed to be extensively pervading (p. 254); while the 

Supreme Ruler is twice spoken of (page 231) as 5^ jjj |jl^ 
the spiritual part of heaven : and (on p. 222) the spirit of 
the Supreme Ruler is said to smell the sweet savour of the 
Sacrifices offered to him. 

5. His glory and majesty are referred to (p. 219, twice) 
where he is said to shine gloriously; while (p. 242) the splen- 
dour and purity, the elevation and expansion of his energies , 
are spoken of as peculiarly indicated, when the word Supreme 
Ruler is used. The phrase, that High Imperial One, (p. 45) 
most honourable and without compare, will be fresh in the 
recollection of our readers ; while the ascription of praise to 
that Majestic One (page 219) the Supreme Ruler, highly ex- 
alted and dwelling on high (p. 219), may remind us of the 
inspired language of Isaiah, Ivii. 15. regarding " the high 
and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, and dwelleth in the 
high and holy place." 

6. The supremacy of the celestial Potentate is distinctly 
recognized (p. 219), where is he called the Lord and Ruler of 
Heaven, and (p. 247) the Lord and Governor of the three 
powers of nature, managing the frame-work and axle-tree 

267 ^ 

©f the universe ; he alio (p. 223) is the Governor among the- 
nations, far elevated above kings (p. 233), who are all subject 
to his sway, yea emperors (p. 249) are under his inspection. 

7. The decrees of the Supreme, by whom kings reign and 
princes decree justice, are very frequently referred to ; it is he 
that decrees (p. 221) the empire to whom he will : upon 
him depends the rise and fall of dynasties (pages 207, 2)1, 
212, 217, 218, 225); good rukrs are said (p. 208, 251) intelli- 
gently to receive his decree, amongst whom Wan-wang and 
Wob-wang (p. 216) are specified, who respectfully (p. 211) ac- 
cepted of the appointment. His decree is spoken of (p. 212) 
as capable of being traced and understood, and when once 
ascertained, the ancient worthies (p. 211, 212) did not dare tQ 
set it aside ; for the Supreme Ruler wai such an object of 
dread (p. 208), that they never ventured to contravene his 
commands. The tendency of the divine decree was some- 
times (p. 212) indicated by prognostications ; nevertheless it 
was said (p. 209, 210) not to be invariable in favour of one 
family, but mainly depended on the conduct of individual ru- 
lers ; the decree, therefore, appointing any particular race to 
the throne (p. 214) was n*ot to be too confidently relied on^ be- 
cauie the Supreme Ruler sometimes (p. 213) changed his de- 
cree, and appoined another sovereign in the stead of an op- 
pressive tyrant ; while he was occasionally (p. 204) angry with 
monarehs, and deprived them of their thrones. It being under- 
stood, therefore, that the Supreme Ruler (p. 219, 220) patro- 
nized certain families as rulers, and favoured certain mo- 
narehs (p. 204) by giving them the throne ; the decree of th^ 
Highest Potentate was iupposed (p. 249) to be in favour of the 
present Tartar dynasty, and the Supreme Ruler is imagined 
(p. 249) to have adopted Shun-che, the founder of the Man- 
chow race of ruleri, as his son. The glorious will of the Su- 
preme Ruler (p. 215, 216) is said to be promoted by a virtu- 
ous prince, by which means he may shew the people, in a 
most evidenj; manner, that he is chosen by the Supreme to 
rule over the empire. 

8. The goodness of the Supreme Ruler is evidenced by 
his conferring (p. 208, 209, 223) the just Medium, or a virtu- 
ous nature, on mankind ; while he is said to give (p. 226) a 
plentiful harvest, to confer prosperity (p. 210) on empires, and 
to aid and assist the patriotic (p. 219) in their efforts. 

9. The work ^f creation is his, not as a subordinate, but as 
the principal, for he is said (p. 209) to have transformed and 
produced the myriad of things. See under article 28. 

10. Providence is alike ascribed to him, for he is described 
(p. 219, 220) as looking down on this lower world ; while the 
rewarding of goodness and the blaming of faults, rests (p. 20^} 


in every case with the inspection of the Supreme ; he obaervea:. 
and rewards (p. 222) sincerity ; he takes notice (p. 216)^ 
of Iiuman faults ; he disapproves of vice (p. 211) and pun- 
ishes it ; the fragrance of virtue is perceived (p. 213. 215.. 
222) by the Supreme ; and he is influenced (p. 214) by vir- 
tuous conduct ; while the tyrant Chow (p. 210) is punished 
for setting aside his worship. He sometimes withholds hia 
protection, (p. 214) and sends down calamities, cutting off (p. 
215) thrones and dynasties ; though theie calamities, brought 
on men, are not to be ascribed to him (p. 224), so much as to 
the vices of wicked rulers j in such instances, the Supreme 
Ruler sometimes (p. 224) refuses to assist men on account of 
their wickedness, and will not even exempt sovereigns (p. 
225) from the general calamity, nor afford them room for es- 
cape (p. 225), nor estimate (p. 225) the devotedness of his 
worshippers, when he reverses his usual proceedings (p. 223), 
and brings down calamities on mankind. 

11. With regard to the sacrifices and services to be paid to. 
the Supreme Ruler, we find that sacrifices (p. 242, 243, 247) 
were to be offered to him generally ; but the especial offer- 
ing due to him was that presented at the border of the coun- 
try, or the ^ kcaou sacrifice, (p. 204, 211, 230, 247, 249 
three times) which has been alto called the celestial sacri, 
flee, on account of its being peculiarly appropriated to Hea- 
ven ; we sometimes find both the ^ keaou and ^ shay, 
or the celestial and terrestrial sacrifices, presented to him, 
(p. 204, 205, 251^) when the Chinese chose to recognize the 
RulingPower under the dual form, as heaven and earth; 

further the ^ liiy, or corresponding sacrifice (p. 227. 243) was 
sometimes presented to the Supreme Ruler, when they had 
occasion to sacrifice to him at an unusual time ; at which time, 
it not being customary to offer the celestial sacrifice, they 
presented one corresponding thereto ; again, the offering 
presented to the Supreme Ruler was called (242 twice, 247) 
J^ yin, a pure sacrifice, and (p. 241, 242) a great sacrifice ; 
a burnt-offering (p. 232) was also especially presented to the 
Supreme Ruler ; while the sacrifices offered to him were oc- 
casionally preceded (p. 249) by sci vices of minor impor- 
tance, in order to prepare the mind for the more solemn servi- 
ces, and to proceed step by step to the higher and more im- 
portant duty ; the Supreme Ruler was supposed to be pacified 
(p. 222, 250) by such sacrifices, and to enjoy (p. 212) the ser- 
vices of the good : he is said to have accepted of sacrifices (p. 
228) when every ceremony was in perfect order ; boiled flesh 
(p. 233) was occasionally presented to him ; and the sages sa- 
crificed (p. 234) to the Supreme Ruler, in order to acknow- 


ledge his favours ; he was prayed to (p. 65, 228) for grain ; 
Wan-waiig is said to have served the Supreme Ruler (p. 219) 
in an intelligent manner ; indeed it was the peculiar busi- 
ness of the emperor to serve (p. 232) the Supreme Ruler; 
intelligent kings (p. 232) are said to have attended to this du- 
ty; and the most ill-favoured person, (p. 207) after having pro- 
perly prepared himself by fasting and bathing, was consider- 
ed eligible to serve the Supreme ; clever men (p. 215, 216) 
honoured the Supreme ; respect towards the Supreme Ru- 
ler (p. 227) was required from all ; and he was not to be 
served (p. 102) with common feelings, nor (p. 103) with 
common things ; music was among the requisites (p. 233 
twice) to be employed in serving the Supreme ; and the Su- 
preme Ruler is invited (p. 249) to partake of the sacrifices of- 

12. As the results of such sacrifices, we are told, that the 
Supreme Ruler sometimes vouchsafed his presence, see 
page 249 ; and that he so regarded with favour a lady, who 
worshipped him with sincerity, as to cause her miraculously 
to conceive and bring forth a son, see page 226. 

13. The Supreme Ruler is appealed to, on the taking of an 
oath, see page 241 ; while the people curse before him, see 
page 1 56. 

14. He is supposed to be gratified by the putting to death 
of hypocritical worshippers, see page 156. 

15. The Taouists say, that he sent a priest of Taou to 
the Great Yii, in order to teach him how to drain off the wa- 
ters of the delugee, see page 248. 

16. Human rulers are required to assist the Supreme Ruler 
in governing mankind, see page 206 twice ; and while acting 
thus they are said to be carrying out his authority, see p. 213. 

17. The word Supreme Ruler is sometimes considered as 
synonymous with Heaven, and the one word is explained 
by the other in K'hang-he ; but it is evident that the reference 
is in such cases to the ruling power above, in the same way 
that the Hebrews were accustomed to say, that the Heavens do 
rule ; the terms are also used interchangeably, in the sense 
of rewarding the good and punishing the bad, see page 210 j 
and with respect to the celestial decrees, which determme the 
rise and fall of empires, see 211 : but an ancient author tells 
us, that Heaven is not to be confounded with the Supreme 
Ruler of the Glorious Heavens, (see page 242) ; while a later 
writer, who had seen the books of Christians, says, that to 
refrain from adoring the heavens, which lie partly to the east 
and partly to the west, and not to honour the earth, which is 
,trod under our feet, while we worship the Supreme Ruler, is 
leasonable, sae page 253; we meet with frequent instances, 


rnQr^QY^T, of their anxiety to n[ifi(ce clee^r the distinction he* 
tween the canopy pf heaven and th^ Suprenie Potentate \ 
which We shall see more particularly, whqn we come to treat 
of the word *{ff 0, Ruler. 

18, Human ancestor? are sqnieiimcs associated with th^ 
Supreme Ruler in acts of worship, seepages 230, 231; hut 
the idea intended to hf conveyed by thi^ ceremony ie, that 
as the Supreme Rnler is the origin of all things, so human 
ancestor? find parents are the more immediate authors of pur 
being, and they may therefore be associated together, in ac- 
knowledging the source from which we sprang. It will of 
course be understood, that we are not here pleading for the^ 
practice, but only endeavouring to account for the adoption 
of it by the Chinese, A^fith whoni the worship of ancestors 
holds so high a place. Still we arc far from believing that 
even the Chinese considered human ancestors to he on a par 
with the author of all, though they did improperly associate 
^h«m in sacrifice : while th« practice was instituted mainly 
,'With reference to the case of How-tseih, who was supposed 
to be miraculously conceived, and of celestial origin. 

19, Human rulers are also viewed a^ corresponding to 
the Supreme Ruler, in vjew of their gupretmacy over the af- 
fairs of the empire, as the Highest Potentate is supreme over 
^he universe. See pag« 204, four times, and page 218. Hu- 
man rulers are also ranked with the Suprem©, with reference 
to their virtue^ in consequencQ of which they obtain universal 
rule. See page 210, twice. 

20. With regard to the arrangement in which we find the 
Supreme Ruler placed, we may observe, that the Chinese 
generally put the Highest Potentate first, and then the Shins 
of heaven and earth, with the manes of ancestors ; s^e page 
04, twice, 210, and ^27, 228. But two ca^es are met with, 
jn which thei Shins are put before the Supreme Ruler, aee 
page 77 J where it is done to prevent the reader falling into 
^ niistake, by supposing that the Kwei Shins were the spi- 
^im of the Supreme Ruler ; so also in page 229, the like in- 
verted arrangement i^ observed, in order to carry out the cli- 
max from th^ less to the greater. 

21. One Chinese author says, that the Supreme Ruler is 
not to be confounded with the images found in the temples, 
see page 185, whi^^h are the inventions of later ages, and were 
not h;nQAvn at the Confucian period. 

8{^, A late writer, who had met with Christian books, 
^pmi>lain9 that Europeans have borrowed the idea of the Su- 
preme Ruler from the Six Classics, and yet abuse the reli- 
giQns of China, see page 253. From which we infer, that 


tlie Chinese literati find no fault with the justness of the e3t* 
pression, but only complain of our borrowing it from them ; 
as if we were not at liberty to avail ourselves of all the stores 
which the language contains. 

23. The titles given to the Supreme Ruler, in various parts 
of the preceding pages, shew the estimation in which the Chi- 
nese held that augiist Beiri^. The most common, and most 
ancient, as it occurs in the Book of Odes, is S ^ J^ *^ the 
Supreme Ruler of the Glorious Heavens ; this title is not to 
be considered as the name of anothsr God, like the ^ 5C 
P *^ Heuen t'heen shang te, of the Taou sect; but as ano- 
ther way of expressing the name of the same beings who 
alone can read the heart, and estimate and reward the devo- 
tions of mankind, see page 65. During a severe drought, al- 
so, when the people trembled, as if the thunders rattled over 
their heads, and when the poor remnant of the Chow race 
were almost cut off to a man, the emperor ascribed the desor 

lating scourge to the vengeance of the ^^ Jt u? Supreme 
Ruler of the Glorious Heavens, who had not even exempted 
the monarch from the universal calamity ; Seuen-wang, the 
then ruling prince, having appealed to the spirits of the for- 
mer dukes in vain, applied at last to the Supreme Ruler of 
the Glorious Heavens, to grant him a method of escape. See 
page 225. In the commentary to the Chow-le, we have a 
long dissertation oil the title in question, where the writer 
says, that the Supreme Ruler of the Glorious iHeavehs con- 
trols nature and its elements, that his throne is on high, and 
that to him divine honours must be offered, while he is not to 
be confounded with Heaven on the one hand, nor with the 
deities presiding over the j&ve elements on the other. See 
page 242, 243. This was also the title that the emperor 
Shiin is said to have devised for the Lord and Governor of 

all, see page 248. Another very ancient title, is that of ^ 

r. >S* Hwang shang te, the august Supreme Ruler, who ori- 
ginally conferred the just niedium, or a virtuous nature, on 
mankind, see page 208 •, arid regarding whom it is said that 
the retributions of Providence are tha doings of this augus t 
Supreriie Ruler, sei^ page 217. But this is not to be consider- 
ed as the title of another deity, no more than Jehovah Elo- 
him, or the Lord God, dtight to be looked upon as a sepai'ate 
divinity firohi Elohim, or God, used alone, when met with in 
the Hebrew Scriptures. A third title is, that of ^ Jq _£^ 
^ Hwang t'hsen Shang te, inet with in tlie Shoo-king, 
where Imperial Heaven's Supreme Ruler, is spoken as chang- 


ing the decre^^ in favour of his chief son, ths emperor of the Viri 
dynasty, and appointing over the empire the house of Chow, 
which had then attained universal rule. Here it is evident, 
also, that the same Supreme Potentate is referred to, by 
whom alone kings reign, and prince's decree justice. In ths 
Book of Rites, we meet with a passage, where the people ard 

commanded to exert their utmost strength to serve ^ JiJ _Q 

i^ the Supreme Ruler of the Tmp3rial Heavens, in order to 
pray for blessings on the land. See page 227. A fourth title 

is, the BB ^ -t ^ M'"g chaou Shang te, the bright and 
glorious Supreme Ruler, who gives the people a plentiful har- 
vest, which they receive as his bright gift, see page 225. A 
fifth title is that supposed to be ascribed by Shiin to the 
Lord and Governor of all, when he called him ^ 3E 7^ *^ 
the Great God and Lord of Heaven, see page 248; and lait- 
ly, that adopted by a European writer in Chinese, ^^ j^ 
5^ the Supreme God apd Lord of Heaven. See page 255. 
In none of which do we discern any trace of the adoring 
difforcnt and separate divinities under these various titles, but 
perceive that it is the title of one and the same Supreme God. 

24. We add one extract to shew that the word J^ 'j^ 
Shang te is capable of assuming the plural form, which some 
have affected to doubt. For in one of the Classics of the 

sect of Taou, we meet with the phrase |§ ^5 J;^ ^ all the 
Supreme Rulers of the various heavens, see page 247 ; of 
these heavens, the Taouists suppose, rhat there are thirty-three, 
with a separate divinity over each, who, being supreme in his 
own department, is called the Supreme Ruler of that heaven. 

25. One instance occurs in which the word Supreme Ruler 
is applied to a human ruler, but that is in the sense of an au- 
tocrat, who exercises despotic sway on earth, as the Supreme 
Ruler governs universal nature, and keeps all beneath his 
Bway. See page 217. 

26. A single instance ii found of the Chinese speaking dis- 
paragingly of the Supreme Ruler, when they consider him in 
the light of the author of evil ; but the writer even ther« 
checks and corrects himself, ascribing all goodneas to him as 
its author, and all wickedness to man, see p. 223. Would that 
we could say as much of western writers. 

27. The representation of the Supreme Ruler, enthroned ia 
heaven, and the spirits of the just, according to the Chinese 
ideas, ascending and descending in his presence, demands 
our particular attention, see page 218, 25L See also 1 Kinga 
xxii. 19. Job. i, 6, 


28. Mislakes are aiUicij)aied, and soui^lit to be correct'd. by 
the Chinese comrneiilators on the clasj»ics, who siipposingr it 
possible iliat such misapprehensions may arise, tell us dis- 
(inctly, that it is a mistake to imagine that tiie S "^ five 
rulers, presiding ov<5r the elements, are synonymous with 
J^ ^^ the Supreme Ruler ; that it is wroufj also to think 
that the Suprouie Rnler is un-qual to the fiv^e rulers : fur* 
ther they decry the idea, that the Supreme Ruler is identical 
with Heaven, or that he i:^ at all inferior to Heaven, but the 
One Suprems Lord and Governor of all. S 'e pages 212, 243. 

Thus o;it of 175 instances in which the word Shang-tti 
is used, in the Chinese classics, only one refers to human 
rulers, and all the rest to thj Supreme Ruler ; and in only 
one iiistance of th; latter class is any thing said complaining- 
ly or disparagin ^ly of thvi Hi^li isL Potentate ; which querulou* 
expresr^ion is, however, imm!^di;itely suppressed, and the op- 
posite view given, in no case do we find Shang-te exhibited 
under any figurative repretentatio'is ; indeed, we arc warned 
against confounding him with the images in the temples ; 
while the Supremi Rul.r is djolarnd, a;ain a«id again, to be 
distinct from the visible hiavens. VVi need soar -.ely add, that 
no intimation is given u^, in all th^ C'limsi classics of any 
thing like the voluptuous character which is attributed to the 
Jupiicr of the Greeks being ascrib*d him who is Supreme in the 
estimation of the Citinesft; no body, parts, or passions being 
assii^ned to him; and the main id a attached to the Shang-t^, 
being that of universal sujiremacy, uncontroiiahle power, jus- 
tice, glory, majesty, and dominion. He has neither wife nor 
children, unless werxcept the instance of the emperor of the 
Yin dynasty being spoken of metaphorically as his chief ton. 
He is sometimes alluded to as synonymous with Heaven, on 
account of his elevation, and the over-shadowing protection he 
affords ; and is soaietimes associated with the auto»rats of 
earth, ia allusion to their univer-a'ly presiding over the em- 
pire ;but we are distinetly infornid, that he is essentially dif- 
ferent from all th;se. Such is the view given us, in ths Chi- 
nese classics, of the Supreme Ruler ; the superstitious of 
later ages have gradually corrupted the ori:;inal idea attacficd 
to Shang-te, and ap[)lied the name, with various additions, to 
different deities, the creatures of th^ir own imaginations, to 
whom they have erected temj>les. dedicated imigcs, and ap- 
point*'d birth and feast days ; hut these are as different from 
him whom the ancients worshipped under the title of the 
Supreme Ruhr, as the Jove of the western world is from 
Jehovah, the God and Fath r of all, from whom the naim- 
of the fabled father of god^ and tn^m^ is probably d2rived. 

1 i 


We now proceed to the coiisideratioti of the word f^ Te, 
Ruler, which the attentive reader will have seen i«. in a num- 
ber of instances, used interchangeably with Shan;r_te, the 
Supreme Ruler, in the extracts given throughout the prece- 
ding pages : thus we find, 

29. That "^ Te, Ruler, or, as we are compelled to render 
it, God, is designated the Supreme and undivided One, the 
Infinite Extreme, the First Beginning, who constituted hea- 
ven and earth, produced light and darkness, brought about 
the four seasons, and appointed the Kwei Shins ; he existed 
before the powers of nature were divided, and before the my- 
riad of things were produced ; thus wonderful was the Su- 
preme One. See page 82, 83, 84. Te, the (Supreme) Ruler, 
or God, is spoken of as causing things to issue forth, 
paigc 234 ; all things are said to have come originally from 
him, page 231, and tlie celestial sacrifice is offered to him, as 
referring with gratitude to him as the origin of all things, 
page 231 ; it is he that animates the issuings forth of nature's 
springs, page 233, and encourages their revertings, page 233 ; 
he produces and completes the myriad of things, page 233, 
and causes the energies of nature to bud forth and move on , 
in the spring of the year ; his outgoings and incomings are 
illustrated by the goings forth and returnings of nature, page 
235, 237 ; his adjustings are seen in nature's adjustin^s, p. 237 ; 
he is displayed in nature's displays, p. 237 ; he superintends the 
whole nourishing of nature, page 237, and governs this uni- 
versal fabric, see page 237 ; the contentions of nature are of 
his creating, page 228 ; he causes things to revert to their 
proper place, page 228, and manages the completion of all, 
see page 228. From all which quotations from the Confucian 
classics we gather, that ^ Te, God, is the author of being, 
the source of existence, and the great founder of all. The 
j)rincipal classic of the sect of Taou also says, that *qf 
Te, God, is the beginning of all things. See page 240. 

30. Te, or God. is said to be the ruler of the invisible 
world, to whom departed spirits pray with acceptance, see 
page 145 ; and the spirit of Wan-wangis said to astend and 
descend, in the presence of the Supreme, where he shines 
brightly in the realms above, see page 185, 218. He is thus 
represented as the Divine Majesty of the Heavens, ruling over 
the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. 

31. Te, or God, is set forth as the supreme disposer of 
the fate of princes ; it was he tfiat appointed T'hang to rule 
over the empire, on accoiint of his virtue, page 227 ; for he 
raises up virtuous sovereigns, page 220, while he conducts 
jntelligant princes to the throne, page 220. It is his decree 

' 275 

that appoidts the empire (o any one, page 218,225; his de- 
cieei are not to be opposed, page 227 ; and his protection is 
necessary to the retention of the scepire, page 249 ; hence 
rulers must be obedient to Him, page 157. Sec also under 
article 7, of this arrangement. 

32. Te, is represented as the God of Providence, for he 
appoints corn for the universal nourishment of living things, 
page 225; and sends down his inflictions , page 213 ; he con- 
fers favours, page 157, and approves of the virtuous, page 213; 
his dealings are spoken of ai the Divine dispensations, page 
213 ; and his blessing being obtained, may be handed down 
to posterity, page 221 ; he regulates the mind of the virtuous, 
page 22C ; and is supposed by the present imperial family to 
have conferred the name of Ghio-ro on the reigning Tartar 
race, page 249 ; but his laws must be followed out, in order 
to attain perfection, page 221. See under article 10, of the 
present arrangement. 

33. 'j^ Te, God, is represented as speaking to Wan-wang, 
guarding him against selfishness, urging him to virtue, and 
giving him directions regarding his conduct, see page 221. 
In what way the Chinese suppose the Divine Being to have 
communicated his will to the monarch in question does not 
appear, neither is it material ; all we wish to argue from it is, 
that the idea of the Ruler of Htaven conveying his wishes 
to rulers on earth is not strange to the Chinese, while it as- 
signs an identity and personality to that Being, which is not 
embodied in the vague notion of Heaven, or ISature, Provi- 
dence, or an undefined Power. 

34. A modern Chinese writer tells us, that the ancient 
sages constantly alluded to Heaven, under the designation 
of ijjf the (Supreme) Ruler, in order to over-awe, and in- 
struct mankind, see page 251. Thus we find the '|^(Su- 
preme) Ruler is regarded with the veneration with which the 
Chinese generally contemplate Heaven, and honoured with 

the ^ celestial sacrifice, see page 81, 230. In sacrificing to 
Iiim, the victim was to be kept up in the stall for three 
months, page 231 ; the main thing to be observed, however, 
in sacrificing to him, was sincerity, page 233, and intelligence 
page 205, while the ceremony was to be performed in the illus- 
trious hall, page 233. His worship was considered fortunate, 
or a source of bliss, page 233. See also article 1 1 , of the pre- 
sent arrangement. 

35. The Chinese afford us some explanations on the sub- 
ject of *^ Te alone, as they do on the phraie_L ^ Shang-te, 
in combination. Thus they say, the classics sometimes speak 


of ^^ Heaven, an J sometimes of ^ its Ruler. From 
wiiich we are to understand, they say, that when allusion i? 
made to the protecting influence which overshadows man- 
kind, the word Heaven is used, page 214 ; or when they speak 
of the visible canopy over our heads, and the awe which it 
inspires, they employ the word Heaven, see page 217 ; or 
when allusion is made to the form and substance of the body 
of Heaven, they use the same term, see page 242; for Heaven, 
they continue, is the general appellation for the original influ- 
ences of nature, see page 242 ; but that, when reference is 
made to the Lord of all, the word *j^ (Supreme) Ruler is 
used, see pages 214, 217, 242, 243 ; for *i^ Te is 5^ J^. i 
^ the Lord and Governor of heaven, see pages 235, 248, 
250 ; in fact. Heaven is the general appellation given to tlie 
original energy of nature, and the word i^ Ruler i^ employ- 
ed when this energy is said to be displayed, see page 242. 
See alio artich 23, of the present arrangment. 

36. The ^* 'J^ flt^ wonderful influence, or inscrutable ex- 
cellence of the Supreme, is spoken of page 236, and ^ |tfl 
the spirit of the Supreme is said to enjoy the celestial sacri- 
fice offered by Yung-ching, one of the emperors of the pre- 
sent dynasty, see page 249. From wliich we infer that 
the Chineie arc in the habit of ascribing invisibility and in- 
telligence to the Lord of all. See art. 4 of thii arrangement. 

37. The word ^ Te is indeed sometimes used for vari- 
ous invisible and intelligent beings, the objects of worship, 

in the same way as the word ijj^ shin is employed, though 
in a more exalted sense ; thus the 'tfj presiding dtity on the 
occasion of a certain sacrifice was J^ 6^ T'hae-haou, while 
the jjj^ subordinate genius associated with liim in' the ser- 
vice, was ^ -^ Kow-mang, the son of^!^^ Shabu-haou, 
himself a descendant of /^ ^ T'hae-haou; from which we 
may gather, that as T'hae-haou was lo far superior to Kow- 
mang in age and rank, so the Te of the one was far above 
the Shin of the other. This argument may appear to us of 
little force, but not so to the Chinese. The same idea is 
seen throughout the whole of the quotations from the 

Book of Rites referred to, see page 73, 74. The word ^ Te, 
vvhen aplied to these presiding deities, is generally confined 
to five, represented by the five ancient emperors, viz. Fuh- 
he, or T'hae-haou ; Shfn-niing, or Yen-te ; Yen-heOng, or 
Hwang-te • Kin-tgen, or Shabu-haou ; and Kaou-yang, or 


Chucn-heuh : these are called the \ 'ijf divine rulers of hu- 
man origin, who correspond to the ^ '^ divine rulers of 
celestial origin ; these latter are supposed to preside ovei the 
five elements and five colours, see pages 242, 243, and 260. 
These five rulers are, however, distinguished from the Su- 
preme Ruler. See page 243. 

38. We meet with the word *fjj*Te . applied to a divine per- 
son of gigantic stature, in whose footsteps Keang-yuen trod, 
and conceived the celebrated Hnv-tseih, in a miraculous man- 
ner, see page 222. 

39. The phrase ^ W Ruler, or God. of Heaven is given 
in the commentary on the Tsb-chuen to the Lord of th« up- 
pf»r world, to whoiu an individual pruyod in order to obtain a 
favour. It is evident from the context that this phrase is syno- 
nymous with the Supreme Potentate, see page 157. The 
same term is met with in a Buddhist classic, page 200. 

40. The expression ^ ^ t'heen chob, occurs in a Bud- 
dhist work, applied to the god Sakya muna^ or Buddha, see 
page, 219. 

41. The word Jg» God is frequently found prefixed to the 
name Saki/a muna., and is read' thus : *iff ^ Te-ehih, the 
God Buddha, see pages 201 and 248. 

42. The word *^ "^ Te nyii, a divine female, or goddess, 
is met with in a Buddhist work, see page 249. 

43. The phrase ^f^ ^ Great God, occurs frequently in a 

Taouist classic, see page 246 ; as also ^t^'^^ ^ the 
God who is Ruler of heaven, earth, and sea, see page 247. 
Thus we have adduced upwards of ninety instances from 

the Confucian classics in which *^ Te is used synonymous- 
ly with £*j^^ S ha ng-te, the Supreme Ruler, and must be 
translated the mt>st High God. Sixteen cases are adduced 
of Te being used by classical writers for the gods of the va- 
rious elements and seasons ; numerous instances also occur 
in the Buddhist and Taouist classics, in which the word 
Te is used for God, as they understood the term, and is ap- 
plied both to Buddha, and the iuiaginary deities of Taou : 

from which we infer, that ^r^ Te by itself has sufficient clas- 
sical authority to warrant its being used for the Supreme 
Potentate ; while the adoption of the term by all the sects for 
deities of different orders, well as for earthly monarchs 
and judges, shews us that 'fp'Te justly represents Elohim, and 
may be used generically for God. 


'jff Te. wlipfher taken in the higher or lower sense, that 
is, as referring to th«' Snpreme, or an inferior deity, repre- 
sents a separate and ^niiie being, who possesses a M spirit 
or spiritual en<r y; this fact, connected with the circum- 
stance that the attributes of |)ower and supremacy are as- 
cribed in the Chinese classics and otfier books to ^ Te, 
leads to tlie conclusion ihat the word expresses more fullyr 
the fdea which we attach to God^ than Shin does. The 
word Shin, we conceive, oui^ht to be translated spirit, or 
spiritual enerj^y, and is primarily used with reference, either 
expressed or implied, to those who possess those energies or 
powers, who embody them, or are the fountains of tbem : and 
it is a secondary, and elliptical use of the term, when it is 
regarded as including in it the possessors of those energies. 
Whereas Te may and ought, in tlie majority of the instances 
adduced in the foregoing pages, to be rendered Divine Ruler, 
or God, without reference either expressed or implied, to any 
other to whoin the Divine Ruler belongs, or on whom he 
depends : who embodies him, or is the fountain of his power, 

This idea will be more forcibly exiiibited by a reference 
to a remark made by a commentator on the Yih-king, who 

says, that ^ Te is the gg substance of f^ Shin, and that 
1^ Shin is the ^ use of >^ Te. These terms |§ and ^ 
are frequently met with in Chinese books, the one rrferrino lo 
the essential or material part of a beingr or thing, and the other 
to the acting out or working of that being. Morrisoti gives 
the first as denoting c«/?'///y, and the second as the exercise 
of if. If *^Te, therefore, bo, th. |f substance of it^ Shin, 
it must bt'. the original suhsiance or essence thereof, to 
which it is attached, nnd on which it depends: and if jfjl^ 

Shin be the ^ use of ^ Te, it must refer to the acfin<j out 
and employrnen! of those fncidti s, which are possessed by 
i^ Te. The word jjj^ Shin, hs explait»ed by the commenta- 
tor referred to, is not expressive of independence, but of rela- 
tion, and is considered as belonging to something else, in 

which it is inherent. ^ Te. on the other hand, is an inde^ 
pendent term, and can be employed separately and exclusive- 
ly, without reference to any other bein^, to whom it is 
attached, or on whom it depends. The commentator above 
quoted tell us, that *\ff Te refers to the Lord and Governor 
of all things, and ^ ^\i\i\ to the spiritual energies of nature 
in the world around. 


Page 43. I^ine 35. for energies, read .'ipbif. 

47. „ 7, (or 2isval objects of *iror.\hip^ read Invi- 

Mhle beings. 
70. ,, 32. iox '•'' the repetition of the prayer shewed 
the intensity of affection {cherished by 
descendants^'^ read *• the calling back of 
the departed soul shewed the carry ing- 
ot it ot the principle of love to the 
73 „ 5. dele made. 
,, ,j 6. for use read made use. 
76. ,, 19. (ot cookery, rei\d crockery. 
90: ,. 1- f<J'' iif'.ergies^ read spiritual energies. 
9L.„iB. 7. do. do. 

92. .V^ 18. do. do. 

96. „ 24. for s^c-bstile, read subtile. 

„ „ 42. for energies, read s' energies. 
98. „ 23. for para^haase^ read paraphrase. 
102. „ 8. for ^/jo'^e, read ^A<?^. 

111. ,, 30. after c/^o'.^?.^^ read /rwTi. 

112. ,j 31. for supa^s, read surpass, 

113. „ 45. for pefeci. mad perfect. 

115. ,, 6. 35 42. for energies, read breathe or spirits. 
,, ,, 42. for ///at read -?t^c^. 

1 16. „ 9. for rah one obtains, rr^ad ?nen obtain. 
3, J, 39. for dispatyivg. read displaying. 

127. ,, 13, 37. for enact^ x'i ad perform. 

146. „ 23. for royal, read princely or noble. 

157. „ 2,3. for intelligent /;em;>-,read spiritual being. 

160. „ 4. dele ?/;«V/<f. 

161. „ 9. for energies, read spiritual miergie^ 
164. ,, 21. for pov)ers. read operations. 

,, „ 30. for energy.^ read spirit. 

167. „ 32. do. do. 

167. ,, 36. for energies, read spiritual energies. 

169. ., 10. for efficacious, read spiritual. 

„ „ 13. 35. for energi/, read spiritual energy. 

170. „ 33. for Rights, read /?i/e*. 

172. „ 38. for enersries, read spiritual energies. 

173. „ 41.43, do.~' do. 

174. „ 45, 46. do. do. 

179. „ 1,20,22,32, 34, 48, for energy, xnad spirit.. 

180. 5, 28, 43, 45, for energies, read spiritual energies 


Page ISl.Line 3.6, 13, 16. 31. do. do. do. 

182. „ 3. for two energies, read tivo-fold breath. 

181. ,, 31, 37, 41, for energies, read spiritual energies 

185. ,, 6, 8. do. do. do. 
„ „ 22. for might, read mtist. 

„ . -, 27. for two energies, read two-fold breath. 

186. „ 10, 12. for energies, read spiritual energies. 

189. „ 35. for only read mainly. 

190. „ 11. for contest read context. 
199. „ 'ii. AqV. three hQiove different. 

203. „ 32. dele the before all. 

204. „ 2. for mee^ read me^. 

205. „ 2. for me?i read man. 

211. ,, -35. iox ascribe T^ad ascribed. 

226. „ 9. dele was before no. 

235. „ 13. for the title given to that Being, read 

that Being is called. 

„ ,j 33. for becomes read becom,e. 

236. „ 47. for "'^ <^ ft^ T%e loonderfvl influence 

of the Supreme Ruler, ^^ read "J^ ;^ |^ 

5S ^^^ "tT^ysterious m^ovements of the 
. Supreme.'''' 
241. „ 13. (oi inscrutable operations read spiritual 

247. „ 11. for affected, read appeared. 

248. ,, 23. for equally, read equably. 

257. „ 1. add *' and tbe five Tes, who are also 
called Supreme Rulers" before "we have." 
267. ,, 23. for appoined read appointed. 

5, 45. for alike read likevnse. 
275. „ 26. for a;i identify read a definiteness. 

276. „ 18. for'' *^ "^i^ wonderful influence or 
inscrutable excellence of the SuprenneJ'' 

read " *]]? ^ S* i^ the mysterious 
m^ovements of the Supreme.'*^ 



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